Arctic sea ice extent reached 5.61 million square miles on February 25, and then began to retreat. Unless a late growth spurt takes place, it will be the smallest winter maximum in the satellite record.
The latest installment of NOAA's Arctic Report Card confirms that Arctic air temperatures are rising at more than twice the rate of the planet as a whole. This collection of images highlights some of the key changes in physical and biological conditions in the Far North.
It’s finally here! Yesterday, scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center announced the ultimate sign of spring: Arctic sea ice reached its winter peak on March 21, 2014, and the annual melt season is underway.
Among the questions triggered by the entrapment of a Russian ship near Antarctica on Christmas Eve were whether the ice conditions were out of the ordinary, and, if so, whether long-term climate change was playing a role.
To be consistent with NOAA's use of 30-year periods for the official "climate normals," the National Snow and Ice Data Center switched its baseline period for sea ice analyses from 1979-2000 to 1981-2010. Compared to the new normal, the low ice conditions of the recent past will appear less abnormal than they used to.