Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Arctic Ice Ad Infinitem

When things looked bad last Summer, and a full third of the 'permanent' sea ice in the Arctic had melted away, you couldn't swing a dead cat and not hit some sort of coverage of that fact. Now, as we approach the maximum sea ice period of the new year, no one is talking about the near complete recovery in the Arctic Ocean. According to the University of Illinois' website called The Cryosphere Today, now nine of the 14 areas have more ice than normal and only three are down from where they were at this time last year. Indeed, measured against that time, the Arctic sea ice has increased in a year nearly 840,000 square kilometers. What's that? just over half a million square miles? Two Texases worth? The sky may indeed not be falling, after all.

In the Antarctic, coming off a record year for sea ice this past Southern Hemisphere Winter, as the minimum sea ice period approaches down there, the amount of sea ice is still above normal*.

*Normal is the mean established by satellite measurement for the period 1979 to 2000. Whether that period was actually representative of the amount of sea ice at the poles over the last 10,000 years or so is absolutely unknown.


Technical note: 1 square mile is approximately 2.6 square kilometers. So 840,000 square kilometers is approximately 323,000 square miles.
Thanks, Doug. I was going with a 5/8 ratio. Forgot the square thingy. OK, just over one and a third Texases.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?