February 17, 2013. The planet is warming. There have been new evidence heralding a new future for the Arctic —
The Arctic is rapidly losing ice, at the same rate so high that the region will soon be ice-free in summer months, scientists have confirmed a new report this week.
Melting at an alarming rate measured by CryoSat-2 satellite of the European Space Agency, which uses a new technology to measure the thickness of sea ice in addition to fixing the areas covered regions.
While the thickness of the ice is more difficult to observe with the naked eye, reducing its volume is a precursor to a more rapid and alarming loss of ice, scientists say.
"Not only is the coverage area is reduced, but the ice thickness is reduced, which accelerates the process of liberation of territories in the future," —
The volume of Arctic sea ice reached a minimum on record in 2012 year, covering only about half the average area observed from 1979 to 2012.
Published data confirm previous reports that have been made on the basis of information obtained by NASA ICESat satellite from 2003 to 2008 year. According to the findings, soon the Arctic could be ice-free during the warmer months. Another group of scientists came to a similar conclusion in September last year, using a simulation system PIOMAS situation Polar Research Center at Washington University.
Results of the study
Council for the Exploration of the natural environment (NERC), commented on the new data in the press release:
The volume of Arctic sea ice has decreased by 36 percent and fall by 9 per cent in the winter period Between 2003 and 2012, found a team of scientists from the UK …
The results support the continued decline in Arctic sea ice, the predicted as a result of scientific modeling system PIOMAS, which estimated the volume of sea ice in the Arctic on the basis of different, including satellite observations until 2008.
The data collected so far CryoSat were compared with information prepared by NASA's ICESat satellite in mid-2000s.
For the autumn season (October / November), the analysis showed the average volume from 2003 to 2008 at 11,900 cubic meters. km.
But from 2010 to 2012 year, this average dropped to 7,600 cubic meters. km., 4300 cu. km.
For the winter period (February / March), from 2003 to 2008, the average recorded volume at 16 300 km ². He dropped to 14,800 cubic meters. km between 2010 and 2012. The difference amounted to 1,500 cubic meters. km.
The relative decline in the winter period highlights interesting "negative feedback".