The Great Arctic Meltdown

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arctic ice cover nasaNASA released three major news reports this week on new findings that sea ice cover in the Arctic is shrinking at an alarming rate and threatening polar bears in Canada.
  • Arctic Ice Meltdown Continues With Significantly Reduced Winter Ice Cover [NASA News] - The maximum amount of sea ice in the Arctic winter has fallen by six percent over each of the last two winters, as compared to a loss of merely 1.5 percent per decade on average annually since the earliest satellite monitoring in 1979. This is happening as summer sea ice continues its retreat at an average of ten percent per decade. This movie illustrates the seasonal decline in Arctic ice cover since 1979. The total lost ice cover is shown by golden-brown patches at the ice cap margins in the picture shown here.
  • Warming Climate May Put Chill on Arctic Polar Bear Population [NASA News] - According to scientists from NASA and the Canadian Wildlife Service, the recent rise in Arctic polar bear sightings is probably related to retreating sea ice triggered by climate warming and not due to population increases.
  • NASA Sees Rapid Changes in Arctic Sea Ice [NASA News] - NASA data shows that Arctic perennial sea ice, which normally survives the summer melt season and remains year-round, shrunk abruptly by 14 percent between 2004 and 2005. The overall decrease in winter Arctic perennial sea ice totals 280,000 square miles--an area the size of Texas.
  • Submitted by elementlist on Sep 16, 2006
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