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The natural world. Looking pretty for 3.5b years.

Arctic Old Ice Vanishing

Arctic Old Ice Vanishing

Author: Hugh Bollinger/Sunday, December 27, 2015/Categories: natural history, photography, sustainability, environment, climate change

               Arctic Sea Ice Measurements for the Arctic Report Card, 2015 (credit: EOS)

NOAA has created a photo animation to show a dramatic time-line of Arctic ice decline. The time-lapse depicts the relative age of old Arctic sea ice from week to week over 25 years. In the video, the oldest ice, greater than 9 years old, is white while seasonal ice is darkest blue. Old ice drifts out of the Arctic east of Greenland but recently has has also been melting as it drifts into the southernmost waters of the Beaufort Sea, north of Canada and Alaska.

In their Arctic Report Card, 2015 the NOAA and University of Colorado researchers noted:

"In 1985, 20% of the ice pack was very old ice, but in March 2015 old ice only constituted 3% of the ice pack. Furthermore, we note that first-year ice now dominates the ice cover, comprising ~70% of the March 2015 ice pack, compared to about half that in the1980s."

             Video credit:  NOAA  and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

If you combine the Arctic sea ice decline with the findings of a recent Nature article on Greenland's glaciers, that was covered well by the Washington Post, you see major environmental alterations happening in 'real time'.

The International pledges made at the Paris climate congress have a long way to go before the inertia produced from climate and environmental feedback loops now set in motion are halted or reversed.


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