|Melting season is not over yet|
2012 Climate | Written by Magdalena Tomasik | Tuesday, 11 September 2012
Following the low level of the Arctic sea ice recorded at the end of August 2012, it continues to drop and yesterday it reached below 4.00 million square kilometers.
Compared to September conditions in the 1980s and 1990s, this represents a 45% reduction in the area of the Arctic covered by sea ice. As the National Snow & Ice Data Center reports, the melting season is not over yet and will probably continue for at least one more week.
Throughout the month of August, Arctic sea ice extent tracked below levels observed in 2007, leading to a new record low for the month of 4.72 million square kilometers), as assessed over the period of satellite observations,1979 to present.
Extent was unusually low for all sectors of the Arctic, except the East Greenland Sea where the ice edge remained near its normal position. On August 26, the 5-day running average for ice extent dropped below the previous record low daily extent, observed on September 18, 2007, of 4.17 million square kilometers.
By the end of the month, daily extent had dropped below 4.00 million square kilometers. Typically, the melt season ends around the second week in September.
The picture on the right hand side represents the extent of Arctic sea ice recorded on Sunday, the 9th of September.