subjects of personal interest

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Graphic Depictions of DECLINING ARCTIC SEA ICE - from NASA

As many are now aware,
the Arctic ice cap has been declining rapidly over the past decade.

The top two images below show arctic ice
in the yearly min and max from 1999 to 2000
Now compare them to the two images below them, taken ten years later!
Keep in mind the scale of the images- that's a lot of missing ice!!

 Arctic sea ice plays an important role in global temperature regulation, due to the reflection of light energy by the white ice. As more seawater becomes exposed, and thus absorbing light energy due to the dark color of seawater, the arctic waters warm. This trend has caused the incredibly thick Arctic sea ice to thin significantly in recent years.

How dramatically? Well the long sought-after Northwest Passage for shipping was open for shipping transport by large container ships in 2007. Not an irrelevant development by any means!

The following link displays government statistics graphically for every year since 1999.

Keep in mind that the ice level in September-following the 24 hour summers of the far North is always at its peak decline for the year.
The ice level in March, after the dark, cold Arctic winter,
depicts the greatest amount of sea ice for that year.
follow this link to learn more:

Here is another interesting link
on the same satellite imaging website.
This compares the vegetation changes in a region of the far north over 43 years. Apparently, the climate has warmed sufficiently enough to allow shrubbery to spread significantly onto the tundra.

GeoEye-1 image copyright GeoEye, provided through the NGA Commercial Imagery Program. Gambit satellite image courtesy of the United States Geological Survey. Caption by Rebecca Lindsey, 

 click here for the interactive photo from
NOAA ClimateWatch Magazine.


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