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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Sea Ice Changes

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Friday, February 13, 2015/Categories: natural history, sustainability, environment, climate change

Satellite images are an excellent way to compare environmental changes on a big scale. A new survey of Arctic sea ice clearly shows dramatic changes in yearly coverage. Publishing in journal of the  American Meteorological Society  researchers at the Goddard Spaceflight Center:

"analyzed data collected by NASA and U.S. Department of Defense satellites from November 1978 to December 2013 and determined global ice extent for each month. They found that the trend was down in all months of the year—even those corresponding to the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice maxima."

Their global scale maps compare the results of February and October data over a 35 year data time-line. The researchers note that the changes:

"in global sea ice loss have also accelerated during the period. From 1979 to 1996, the ice loss was 8,300 square miles per year. This rate from 1996 to 2013 was 19,500 square miles lost per year. Annual losses were larger than the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined."


                           Changes in Arctic Sea Ice,1979-2013   (credit: Goddard Spaceflight Center)

This is a lot of ice cover disappearing. It is worth pondering how the Arctic will appear after another 35 years of ice cover data collection.


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