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Thursday, September 25, 2008

On thin ice!

Nature News carries an interesting news about arctic ice shrinks less this year than last:

Sea-ice cover in the Arctic (pictured) has reached its annual low — and not broken last year's record of the smallest ice extent since satellite records began, says the US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.

Ice cover began to grow again from 10 to 14 September after bottoming out at 4.52 million square kilometres, the centre says. That's 9.4% more ice than last summer's minimum. Contributing factors include the fact that there were fewer warm days in the Arctic region this year than last, and also that winds blew in different directions instead of packing the ice together into a small area.

AP PHOTO/THE CANADIAN PRESS/J. HAYWARD

The International Arctic Research Center in Fairbanks, Alaska, also recorded a minimum last week: 4.71 million square kilometres on 9 September.

If you are tempted to draw any inference from this news, here's an explanation from Jennifer Francis, Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, Rutgers University:
. . . the ice cover is now so thin that any substantial recovery toward normal ice conditions is highly unlikely, especially as greenhouse gases continue to accumulate in the atmosphere.
In other words, don't you dare not to think that global warming is on going and going strong. Well, we are all on thin ice here. Let's see whatever is going to happen next year before splitting any more hairs!

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