Monday, January 10, 2011

Arctic Sea Ice Extent at Lowest Ever December Level

The extent of sea ice in the Arctic hit its lowest December level ever in 2010.

While reports from the National Snow and Ice Data Center have shown low ice levels through all of 2010, the yearly low this past September was the third lowest ever.

Ice has been slow to form this year, particularly in Hudson's Bay and the strait that runs between Baffin Island and Quebec.

High Temperatures in the Arctic

High temperatures in the Canadian and Siberian north are cited as reasons for the slow ice build-up.

These results seem consistent with the predictions of a new Canadian study modeling effects of climate change on worldwide weather patterns over the next 1000 years.

Canadian Climate Study

The study, by researchers from the University of Victoria's Canadian Centre for Climate Modelling and Analysis and the University of Calgary's Dept of Geography, predicts global weather turmoil, weather extremes and a four-metre sea level rise.

Canada and Russia fare relatively well compared to much of the world in the long-range scenario, as somewhat warmer temperatures would make much of the countries more habitable for people, even though existing ecosystems would be threatened. The study, published in the journal Nature Geoscience, assumes "zero emissions" from human sources going forward.

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