June 28 News: Arctic Sea Ice Levels Reach Record Low In June

A round-up of the top climate and energy news.

Sea ice in the Arctic has melted faster this year than ever recorded before, according to the US government’s National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). [Guardian]

Satellite observations show the extent of the floating ice that melts and refreezes every year was 318,000 square miles less last week than the same day period in 2007, the year of record low extent, and the lowest observed at this time of year since records began in 1979. Separate observations by University of Washington researchers suggest that the volume of Arctic sea ice is also the smallest ever calculated for this time of year.

Scientists cautioned that it is still early in the “melt season”, but said that the latest observations suggest that the Arctic sea ice cover is continuing to shrink and thin and the pattern of record annual melts seen since 2000 is now well established. Last year saw the second greatest sea ice melt on record, 36% below the average minimum from 1979-2000.

arctic sea ice

Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday lashed out at Mitt Romney in Iowa for the second straight day, this time taking issue with the Republican’s reluctance to embrace tax credits for wind and solar energy. [National Journal]

With wind and heat giving it new strength, the furious wildfire that has been burning in the foothills around Colorado’s second-largest city doubled in size by Wednesday, first roaring past containment lines and forcing tens of thousands of residents to flee, chased by billowing smoke, blowing ash and the fear that their homes might be burned to the ground. [New York Times]

Help came from the heavens Wednesday when heavy rains drenched the Flagstaff fire near Boulder, Colo., but officials warned that even days of such weather couldn’t alleviate the bone-dry conditions that have inflicted weeks of wildfires on the West. [Los Angeles Times]

Climate change is likely to alter fire patterns around the world, including a potential increase in the number of fires for much of California in the next 30 years, according to a new study led by UC Berkeley researchers. [ABC News]

Jim Bridenstine, the Republican who beat sitting GOP Energy and Commerce Committee member John Sullivan (R-Okla.) in Tuesday’s primary, will join the ranks of House members who are skeptical of climate change. [The Hill]

A giant battery bank installed by the side of the Southeast Pennsylvania Transit Authority‘s subway tracks a little over a month ago is saving about nine megawatt-hours of power a week, its manufacturer says, which is more electricity than the typical apartment-dweller uses in a year. [New York Times]

Preliminary findings from a new study commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) under the African Adaptation Programme (AAP) in Nigeria have linked water stress in the country to climate change. [All Africa]

9 Responses to June 28 News: Arctic Sea Ice Levels Reach Record Low In June

  1. An additional roundup of energy and climate news for June 28 is posted at

  2. Tom L says:

    General Electric’s Weather Channel just aired a report on the ‘science’ behind the heat wave. It’s just the urban heat island effect. That’s all it is , yeah! They came right out and said it isn’t GW. A new low in media dishonesty and obfuscation and it’s sickening. Yesterday they explained that beach erosion is being caused by ‘supply and demand’. We’ve dammed so many rivers the poor sand just can’t make to our beaches anymore. Sea level rise was never mentioned. Simply unf#cking-believable!

  3. Lou Grinzo says:

    None of this should surprise anyone.

    There is profit to be made by some extremely powerful interests from ignoring and lying about the impacts of climate change. So they will.

    The infuriating part of this is how incredibly effective things like horrid news reports and political ads can be in getting people to vote and consume in ways that are strongly counter to their own best interest as well as that of their children.

    We are slaves to programming that evolved to get us through the night without becoming a tiger snack so we could have more babies; this programming is a wildly bad match for life in today’s world. That genetic predisposition is at the root of nearly every large-scale problem you can point to in 2012.

  4. Belgrave says:

    From my crude observations, arctic ice extent is still a little higher than in 2010, which holds the record low for June – not 2007. However, volume is almost certain to show a record low when PIOMAS figures for June are released in a week or two so this isn’t even slightly good news. Unless there’s a sudden slowdown in ice loss (which happened in the first half of July 2010) this year is, I think, still on course to produce a record low extent.

    Then, if a good strong El Niño and solar activity continuing to rise, together with Business As Usual, produce another record low in 2013 the arctic ice really will be in trouble!

  5. M Tucker says:

    Seems like a post might be warranted on the meeting of climate scientists in Boulder, CO. Just in time for the infamously historic wildfires and record setting temperatures, with James Hansen as one of the key speakers, and drawing record public attendance.

    If there was a post and I missed it I apologize.

  6. Doug Bostrom says:

    Death Valley ain’t got nothing on Hill City — at least not this week. The Kansas farm town was the hottest place in the nation over the past five days and, while a bit cooler Thursday, was still a symbol for the heat wave sitting atop the central U.S. and slowly spreading east.

    “We’ve pretty much restricted our travel and stayed indoors,” Kirk Schweitzer, director of the local economic development office, told

    Hill City topped out at 115 degrees on Wednesday — 8 degrees above its previous record for a June 27.

    “To have days on end, plus this early in the year … that’s what worries people,” he said. “Is this a foreshadowing of summers in years to come or just an anomaly?”

    A Midwest town having the nation’s highest temperature for five days in a row is very unusual, Chris Foltz, a National Weather Service meteorologist, told Reuters.

    Heat hub for US is Kansas farm town — not Death Valley

    Dawning recognition in Kansas? Comprehension inversely correlated w/hydrocarbon extraction?

  7. Doug Bostrom says:

    Highly unusual giant hail in England:

    Esure has received “a large number” of claims on both home and motor policies from people living in the Leicestershire and Melton areas. The insurer said it had a large spike in claims over lunchtime, but they were still coming in and it was expecting more as people returned home to find damage to homes or cars left outside their properties.

    Cars have been dented and windows smashed. “We’ve not seen anything quite like this before – none of the underwriters or claims handlers have dealt with giant hailstones before,” said Adrian Webb, a spokesman for esure. “We have had people calling saying ‘my car bonnet looks like a golf ball – it is covered in dents’.”

    “We are seeing some freak weather conditions this year with floods, tornadoes and now hail.”

    Freak hail storm drives insurance claims

    Get used to seeing freaks.

    Presumably somebody somewhere keeps track of hail statistics? Would be interesting to know what the signal looks like.

  8. nyc-tornado-10 says:

    sounds like baseball size hail, we had that last year in a part of new york city and nearby nassau county in a thunderstorm, i had never heard about such large hail falling in or around nyc ever before. Weather is getting more intense, and we are seeing weather events happen in places they rarely or never occured before.

  9. David B. Benson says:

    Not that it will be noticed, but megawatt-hours are a unit of energy. Megawatts are a unit of power.