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Alaska Beat

Expert: Arctic sea ice in a 'death spiral'

  • Author: Alaska Beat
  • Updated: May 13, 2016
  • Published September 9, 2010

According to The Vancouver Sun, a new Arctic Ocean sea ice report was released Tuesday by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center, and it has triggered language that one usually doesn't hear from an expert. Satellite measurements of sea ice in the polar region indicate that this September's Arctic minimum annual sea ice extent will end up being the third smallest since such measurement began in the late 1970s, 5 million kilometers. All extent measurements aside, a greater concern to the director is the observed thinning of the region's old ice, a phenomenon which causes melting to accelerate. The center's director described the rate that Canada's Northwest Passage melted this summer as "unusually fast." He also responded to some recent claims that sea ice around some Arctic communities has been thickening by saying, "That's simply not the case. It's continuing down in a death spiral." Read much more, here.

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