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Sea ice extent in the Arctic fell to 483,000 square km (186,000 square miles) on August 13, a new record

The Arctic Ocean is feeling hot, hot, hot, says new report released by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. 
According to the report, sea ice extent in the Arctic dropped to a record low on August 13, and will continue dropping to new record lows by the end of the month. 
Sea ice extent, which measures the amount of sea ice remaining in the ocean, fell to 483,000 square km (186,000 square miles) on August 13. This was a dip from the previous record low on the same date back in 2007. 
But that's not the end of it. The Arctic sea ice is expected to continue melting through mid to late September, but more record lows have been predicted for the end of this month.
"A new daily record would be likely by the end of August," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. "Chances are it will cross the previous record while we are still in ice retreat."
The news of a new record hasn't surprised many among the environmental community. This may be because the Arctic neared record lows last year, according to climate physics Professor Seymour Laxon from University College London. It almost seemed inevitable that this would happen at some point. "Rapid" melting occurred in June of this year as well with 100,000 square km melting daily.
However, Laxon worries that this rate of melting will adjust the prediction for an ice-free Arctic in summer. Previous reports estimated that the Arctic will have an ice-free summer in 2100 based on melting at that time, but when the 2007 low hit, this estimate was brought to the 2030-2040 range. Scientists are now concerned that this year's lows will bring that date even closer, which is problematic because the melting of sea ice means warming of the oceans. Sea ice keeps the Earth's temperature controlled.  
Global warming always seems to be a hot topic (pun intended). A recent controversial report released by James Hansen at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies claimed that global warming has caused hotter summers since 1980, but many question the merit of his opinions based on his position on climate change. 

Source: BBC News

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RE: On the bright side
By ArcliteHawaii on 8/22/2012 6:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's difficult to predict the precise negative effects of climate change. The north channel may open up, or it may freeze over once the melting freshwater of Greenland prevents temperature distribution. Certainly some things are fairly predictable like the desertification of the American breadbasket. Also, increased and northerly spread of tropical diseases throughout the USA such as malaria, west nile, and many others creating a series of epidemics in a country not prepared to handle such diseases.

This precludes utter disasters such as all the ice in Greenland melting, a process which is accelerating ( Such an event would cause the ocean to rise 20 feet across the globe. The effects of this would be catastrophic. The land millions of people currently live on would be flooded. Every single port in the world would be inundated and have to be rebuilt. Countless freshwater lenses would be infiltrated with salt water rendering them undrinkable and unusable. It would cost tens of trillions of dollars to recover from such a problem.

The truth is that humans have never lived in a climate of 370 ppm CO2. We just aren't adapted for that. It's extremely risky to raise the temp, and foolish to think everything will be okay.

RE: On the bright side
By Dr of crap on 8/22/2012 8:16:04 AM , Rating: 1
UH, sorry it was reported by NASA that almost all of Greenlands ice had melted, and flooding HASN'T happened yet!

RE: On the bright side
By kattanna on 8/22/2012 1:39:06 PM , Rating: 3
UH, sorry it was reported by NASA that almost all of Greenlands ice had melted, and flooding HASN'T happened yet!

oh my.. please pass what your smoking as it has to be pretty good

RE: On the bright side
By JediJeb on 8/22/2012 2:18:46 PM , Rating: 4
That study reported here was discussed pretty well and what NASA was showing was not a total loss of ice, even though their graphic made it look that way. They showed in white the areas that were not melting faster and in red the areas that had, which made the before and after look like all the white "ice" had disappeared.

What they said was a majority of the ice sheet had experienced melting, which can mean simply there was water standing on the top of it, not that it had melted.

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