A Few Things Ill Considered

A layman's take on the science of Global Warming featuring a guide on How to Talk to a Climate Sceptic.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

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Arctic Sea Ice Declines

This is a familiar headline by now, but what is significant this time is that the finding is about winter sea ice. The winter ice forms and melts in an annual cycle, the summer ice is permanent. Earlier findings were that ice was melting more in the hotter summers, but the recovery in winter was generally quite good. Now, according to two NASA studies, there have been quite dramatic drops in the maximum winter extent and thickness over the last two years. This follows on two decades of slower declines.

NASA has an article about it here and there is a piece in the Washington Post here. The NASA piece has some nice animations.

Related Guide entries:



  • At September 15, 2006 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…


    -Stephen Berg

  • At September 23, 2006 5:14 PM, Blogger Hank Roberts said…



    "closing a long and impressive chapter in submarine history. For more than 40 years, the U.S. Submarine Force has reigned supreme in the Arctic regions, since Skate first surfaced at the pole in 1959. And, since 1975, the L. Mendel Rivers had been there regularly to do her own part in maintaining that supremacy. With Rivers' current decommissioning, only Parche will be left to carry on the legacy of the Sturgeon-class boats. Looking back over this proud tale, I have to ask myself: Will we ever enjoy the same success we had with the Sturgeon class again, or are we retiring our one true under-ice capability for good? I hope not ...."


    "Over a decade ago, Peter Schlosser and his colleagues
    saw deep-water formation in the Greenland Sea shift
    from producing large amounts of deep water to small
    He watched the system to see if deep-water formation would burgeon once again. It didn’t.
    ...... approach to studying changes in the Arctic is vital, said Schlosser, the program’s chair. “You can only understand the full scope of Arctic Change if you’re looking at it from all disciplines.”
    ..... the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008 .....
    Schlosser said, “There’s a heightened awareness all of a sudden that if you go to the Arctic, you might be present during actual change.”


    1998, updated 2006.
    This data set consists of upward looking sonar draft data collected by submarines in the Arctic Ocean. It includes data from both U.S. Navy and Royal Navy submarines. Maps showing submarine tracks are available. Data are provided as ice draft profiles and as statistics derived from the profile data.....

    and http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/more-on-the-arctic/#comment-13674
    (the Navy thesis link is a slow, slow download of a PDF file, but worthwhile -- look at the charts in the back that show the sudden acceleration of change.

    Other cites at globalchange


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