Hey guys! You think COVID-19, buckling national economies and a growing potential for global conflict are all we have to worry about? Take a look at this.
For more than a decade now we have been seeing a rapid decrease of sea ice cover around the north polar region. It started being noticed in 2007 when summer ice cover reached its lowest level by a considerable margin at that time. That year is now only the fourth lowest year of summer sea ice loss. Scientists were alarmed five years later, in 2012, by a huge drop in summer ice cover that year which still is the record lowest level seen in recent history and certainly in the last 40+ years that satellite measurements have been able to be made. A gradual movement towards that low has been ongoing since then.
This year, and I have taken a zoomed snapshot of the interactive graph provided daily by NSIDC -It shows that 2020 – the loose blue thread dangling ominously from the patchwork of the five lowest years on record (2012 being the dashed red line).It shows that on July 21 this year (a couple of days ago) there were a little over a half million square kilometres less ice cover than at any time on record for that same day (and that previous low was set only last year – the green line).
It is acknowledged that the record 2012 ice loss was probably due to or exacerbated by unusual cyclonic activity in early August that year. There is every chance that this year we may see a similar result to 2012, with or without unusual weather events.
Of course nothing is certain and events over the next month will determine what actually happens – but, whatever that is, we have a safety margin of 500,000 fewer sq/Kms of surface ice than ever before to play with this year.
Just something else to think about. You may want to read up about the consequences of Arctic sea ice loss.