Posted by: Dr Churchill | September 25, 2012



Arctic Sea Ice evolution of 13 million years is rubbished this year.

Thirteen Million Years fucked.

All Earth scientists reckon that today the Arctic Sea Ice is a far smaller ice patch and a thinner sheet than ever before. Thirteen million years in ice-geological terms is as good as ever.

Think of it.

We’ve only been around for a couple of hundred thousand years at best, and we’ve started ruining things…

The Arctic ice is now a thin film and a far smaller patch, than it has been at any time within the last 13 THREE MILLION YEARS.

And it is also completely rubbished and all the way rotten in the small parts of the remaining broken up ice cover.

The extent of the Arctic ice cap has hit a record low, and the consequences of what is arguably the greatest environmental change in human history will extend far beyond the North Pole.

For at least 13 million, the Arctic Ocean has been covered by a thick floating ice cap, the breadth of which fluctuates with the seasons and currents.

With regularity and just like the tides, each summer, the ice sheet shrinks to an annual minimum around mid-September before growing out again for six months of cold and darkness. This ice sheet ebb and flow cycle is fuelled by plummeting winter temperatures and long nights. Yet a lot of ancient ice remained always intact. And it was always expected to be that way for ever…

Unfortunately all that has changed. The Arctic Ice Sheet has now been turned on it’s head. It is a shadow of itself. And all the Climate Science about it has changed drastically. Because climate change has had more of an impact here than anywhere else on Earth. Air temperatures are rising twice as fast as the global average, and models predict temperature increases of up to 15 degrees Celsius.

This is an irreversible process.




And as the image above shows, on the 16th of September 2012, the Arctic sea ice shrank to its lowest extent on record. Breaking a Three Million Year record.

This according to NASA satellite imagery and analysis by the NASA/Goddard Scientific Visualization Studio, and by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, US, the Arctic sea ice covered just 3.41 million square kilometres on 16th of September 2012. The previous lowest record of 4.17 million km2 was set in 2007, but was broken on 26th of August this year.

Arctic sea ice shrinks every summer as the Arctic warms up, then expands in winter. It seems that the summer shrinkage has stopped for this year, although if the winds change the ice could become even more broken up.

This year’s record low illustrates how climate change is steadily wearing away the Arctic sea ice. Models predict that the Arctic is likely to see ice-free summers in the next 2 to 3 years, completely transforming the polar ecosystem and possibly bringing more extreme weather to Europe and North America.

Because the image is derived from satellite data, the yellow line shows the average minimum extent of ice cover, over the last 30 years and nothing more.

The 13 Million year record low is from the geological record.


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