The Arctic has entered a critical period of melting ice

The Arctic has entered a critical period of melting ice


The situation with the Arctic ice in the 2011 season came at a critical juncture — the weather the next few weeks may eventually reduce its area to record lows, according to the National Data Centre on the snow and ice (NSIDC) USA.

According to experts of the center, the average area of sea ice in the Arctic in June was 11.01 million square kilometers. Historic low for the first month of summer was recorded in June 2010, the current result is greater than its 140 square kilometers. However, the figures in June 2011 below the average for the 1979-2000 area by 2.15 million square kilometers.

"The average sea-ice cover has fallen below the level of June 2007, when it was the absolute minimum area of ice at the end of the season … now the region was a critical phase of the season of melting ice: the weather in the next few weeks will show whether the reduced area of the ice sheet to new record lows" , — stated in the center.

According to experts NSIDC, air temperatures in the Arctic region in June was by 1-4 degrees Celsius above average in all areas except the Beaufort Sea and the Greenland Sea, where temperatures were close to normal. Sea ice in the Arctic in June declined by an average of 80,800 square kilometers per day, which is 50% faster than the average for 1979-2000.

Experts note that the fastest melting ice in the Kara Sea, where the melting rate is almost two times higher than the average. The total area of ice in the Kara Sea also declined the most, in particular, is almost completely free of ice south of the sea, which, according to experts NSIDC, typical for the region.

"By the end of June, the total area of Arctic sea ice was estimated at 9.54 million square kilometers, which is 264,000 square kilometers, more than the absolute record of 30 June 2010", — the report says.

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