Video: Watch An Area Of Arctic Sea Ice The Size Of Canada And Texas Combined Melt Away

When Arctic sea ice fell to its lowest level ever recorded this August, the ice covered an area 45 percent smaller than it did in the 1990’s. The amount of ice that melted in the Arctic this year is roughly the size of Canada and Texas combined.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has just released a video illustrating the record melt:

NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center also released its latest data on Arctic ice on Monday. The previous record for Arctic ice melt was in 2007; however, as the data show, this year brought an additional loss of ice equivalent to the size of Texas. During August of 2012, Arctic ice disappeared at a rate of 35,400 miles per day.

Researchers are calling the melt “astonishing” and  “urgent.” One prominent scientist, Cambridge University’s Peter Wadhams, is now projecting that summer sea ice in the Arctic may entirely disappear in the next four years — calling the implications “terrible.”

“As the sea ice retreats in summer the ocean warms up (to 7C in 2011) and this warms the seabed too. The continental shelves of the Arctic are composed of offshore permafrost, frozen sediment left over from the last ice age. As the water warms the permafrost melts and releases huge quantities of trapped methane, a very powerful greenhouse gas so this will give a big boost to global warming,” he told the Guardian newspaper.

The National Climatic Data Center also released data showing this summer was the third-warmest ever recorded globally, with August marking the 330th consecutive month when temperatures were above the 20th century average.

17 Responses to Video: Watch An Area Of Arctic Sea Ice The Size Of Canada And Texas Combined Melt Away

  1. prokaryotes says:

    Not there yet, but in an interview with Dr. Jennifer Francis of Rutgers last week, the message was clear – the ice has retreated so much that at this point, we will already be experiencing the impacts of a low or no-ice arctic minimum, including “very interesting” weather in the northern hemisphere this fall and winter. Wow. I can’t wait.

  2. prokaryotes says:

    Though my guess is that the “felt” cold european summer (at least in parts and or periods) is related to the ice melt.

    Also there are studies which link the THC and abrupt climate change, back from 2003.

  3. kca says:

    So long it’s been good to know ya
    So long it’s been good to know ya
    So long it’s been good to know ya
    Them greenhouse gases have ruined my home
    And I got to be driftin along

  4. Bud Lincoln says:

    Ten or 20 years ago we may have had a chance to slow this process. The planet is a like very big organism with a temperature that’s been too high for too long and getting higher. So yes, sadly kca is right…
    So long it’s been good to know ya

  5. Tami Kennedy says:

    I keep flooding my twitter and facebook with these cheery forecasts. And that it is a good idea to spend more time listening to scientists over politicians.

  6. Rod Clifton says:


  7. Merrelyn Emery says:

    kca, Bud and Rod, have you given up already? There is a lot more to lose than ice in the Arctic and it’s worth fighting for, ME

  8. Jeff Poole says:

    I asked a panel of prominent Australian environmentalists, including Prof Ian Lowe, President of the Australian Conservation Foundation and Anna Rose President of the Aus Youth Climate Coalition about this just two weeks ago.

    ‘When do we stop trying to save a dying patient and move to palliative care?’

    The answers from the 70-something Lowe and the 20-something Rose were the same, although Anna Rose put it most succinctly…

    “Hope is a strategic decision.”

    Is this merely a benign form of denial?

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:


  10. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The meek shall inherit nothing.

  11. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    I agree Merrelyn, but the hour is getting late. Fighting we shall have, whether we like it or not. I see an article by Colin Tudge today, bemoaning the hideous abomination of capitalist agribusiness, and advocating setting up our own farms and frequenting farmers’ markets. A good idea, but too expensive for a population being deliberately immiserated by wage stagnation, indirect, regressive, taxation and increasing precarious, contingent, work arrangements. And, if it was ever so successful as to threaten profit projections, well you just know that the business goons and their political stooges and MSM droogs would attack it mercilessly. Just look how the agribusiness (expletive deleted)bought up seed companies then withdrew scores of varieties from circulation, then targeted seed saving networks as well.

  12. Merrelyn Emery says:

    I don’t know about those two Jeff but from the perspective of how the human affect system works, hope is essential. Without it, people wither and die very quickly. Even in appalling and seemingly ‘hopeless’ circumstances, people with hope can survive, ME

  13. Pumpkincurry says:

    Pretty much everyone is going to inherit nothing. But it won’t be so pretty.

  14. prokaryotes says:

    Thermohaline Ocean Circulation, and the wikipedia has more :)
    “The thermohaline circulation is sometimes called the ocean conveyor belt, the great ocean conveyor, or the global conveyor belt. On occasion, it is used to refer to the meridional overturning circulation (often abbreviated as MOC).”

  15. prokaryotes says:

    The thermohaline circulation plays an important role in supplying heat to the polar regions, and thus in regulating the amount of sea ice in these regions, although poleward heat transport outside the tropics is considerably larger in the atmosphere than in the ocean.[12] Changes in the thermohaline circulation are thought to have significant impacts on the Earth’s radiation budget. Insofar as the thermohaline circulation governs the rate at which deep waters are exposed to the surface, it may also play an important role in determining the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. While it is often stated that the thermohaline circulation is the primary reason that Western Europe is so temperate, it has been suggested that this is largely incorrect, and that Europe is warm mostly because it lies downwind of an ocean basin, and because of the effect of atmospheric waves bringing warm air north from the subtropics.[13] However, the underlying assumptions of this particular analysis have likewise been challenged.[14]
    Large influxes of low density meltwater from Lake Agassiz and deglaciation in North America are thought to have led to a disruption of deep water formation and subsidence in the extreme North Atlantic and caused the climate period in Europe known as the Younger Dryas.

  16. john c. wilson says:

    You’ve put your finger on why denial is so strong. Accepting reality is somewhat akin to accepting death.