Sea Ice Levels Begin to Increase, 09/19/2012

Data from the Naval Ice Center shows that the 2012 Minimum Ice Levels have been reached and we have begun to GAIN sea ice.

Image from the Naval Ice Center

 After falling to the lowest levels seen in recorded history, between September 19 and September 26 sea ice has increased by 268,700 sq km. Though the ice will not be as thick as seen in the last few decades, we will not see an Ice Free Arctic in 2012.

In the summer of 2011, sea ice levels dropped dramatically, too. But in the 2011 winter and the Spring of 2012, the sea ice in the Bering Sea marched south as far as the port of Dutch Harbor, farther than many fishing boat captains had seen since the 1970s.

Sea Ice levels in the summer obviously do not predict sea ice levels for the following spring. But if last years numbers tell us anything of what we should expect to see this year, it is that ‘extreme’ and ‘new normal’ are phrases that will describe natural phenomenons for years to come.

Keep your head up!

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