Climate change: Arctic sea ice at record low for July

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Here’s the link to the National Snow and Ice Data Center webpage. Here’s an excerpt:

Average ice extent for July 2011 was 7.92 million square kilometers (3.06 million square miles). This is 210,000 square kilometers (81,000 square miles) below the previous record low for the month, set in July 2007, and 2.18 million square kilometers (842,000 square miles) below the average for 1979 to 2000.

On July 31, 2011 Arctic sea ice extent was 6.79 million square kilometers (2.62 million square miles). This was slightly higher than the previous record low for the same day of the year, set in 2007. Sea ice coverage remained below normal everywhere except the East Greenland Sea.

More coverage from the Summit County Citizens Voice (Bob Berwyn). From the article:

During the northern hemisphere summer, the ice shrinks through September, then starts to expand again through the winter. Accurate sea ice extent measurements date back to 1979, when satellites first started delivering reliable data and photographic images…

Signalling the trend of vanishing sea ice, new data shows that more of the Arctic’s store of old and thick ice is melting. The ice melted quickly in early July, but the melting slowed down the second half of the month as a high pressure system over the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, broke down, bringing stormier and cooler weather to the region. The Arctic ice researchers say the weather change probably pushed the ice apart, forming a thinner but more extensive ice cover.

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