August 10, 2009

‘Summer of melt’ in the Arctic

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 It’s been a “relentless summer of melt” in the Arctic Ocean, as tens of thousands more square miles of ice have melted. Scientists are watching for a possible record  low polar ice cap, the Associated Press reports.

It was so warm that kids were swimming in the ocean in a remote outpost on the barren shore in Canada far northwest, 1,500 miles north of Seattle, veteran observer Eddie Gruben noted. By this weekend, the ice edge was 80 miles at sea, compared to 40 miles forty years ago, he said.  As of last week, the polar ice cap extended over 2.61 million square miles after having shrunk 41,000 square miles a day in July, a rate of melt similar to that of July 2007, when the ice cap dwindled to a record low minimum extent of 1.7 million square miles in September of that year.

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