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View Diary: Arctic sea ice extent crashes to record low (86 comments)

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  •  What's happening in winter? (5+ / 0-)

    Thanks very much for the diaries, FOOW.

    How come winter ice coverage has changed so much less? Is it because atmospheric temperatures are going up, but still not that many more days above freezing?

    •  See my comment above (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      maryabein, uciguy30, StrayCat, ATinNM

      Extent and volume are different. Basically, most of the sea surface is likely to freeze in winter, but the thickness of the ice that will form this winter will be much less than the thickness of the ice over the same areas in 1979.

      That's one of the reasons why, given the need to use an extent measurement, it's better to use minimum than maximum, because minimum extent reflects volume somewhat better (a thin, single-year freeze will tend to melt away, while the thicker multi-year ice sticks around).

      Still, though, we have to know that we've lost more ice than even the minimum-extent metric indicates, because even the multi-year ice that's still surviving through September is thinner than it used to be. Much thinner.

      "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

      by kyril on Sat Aug 25, 2012 at 01:39:13 PM PDT

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