Friday, August 10, 2012

Passages

Both the Northwest and Northeast passages through the Arctic appear to be open today.

Sea ice extent has been at record low levels for about two months now, and it is highly plausible that all time (since measurement began) minimum records will be broken in the remaining four weeks or so of the melt season. Today's level was only slightly exceeded by four previous yearly minima.

Arctic sea ice loss is a predictable and predicted consequence of Anthropogenic Global Warming, so it is a canary in the coal mine for those with ears to hear. Also bad news for polar bears, of course. It will be interesting to see if it, as has been previously speculated, leads to unusually snowy winters in some parts of the world this year.