something is not right at the highest latitudes of the globe

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

WINTER HAS EX­TENDED ITS GRIP on the Arctic, drop­ping a cur­tain of dark­ness on the top of the world. But at least one part of the Arctic is re­sisting its grasp. In what’s be­coming an un­for­tu­nately common story, sea ice growth is stalling out in one of the gateway seas leading to the heart of the Arctic Ocean. The Chukchi Sea cur­rently has a sea ice ex­tent more rem­i­nis­cent of summer than early winter, a sign that some­thing is not right in the wa­ters at the highest lat­i­tudes of the globe.

The Chukchi Sea sits be­tween northern Alaska and Russia. That makes it a cru­cial bridge to the Bering Sea, a place for the sea to latch on and spread its icy ten­drils to the south. But this winter so far has seen ice suffer. After bot­toming out in Sep­tember, the ice in the Chukchi Sea has failed to rebound.

Usu­ally, the dip in tem­per­a­tures cou­pled with the lack of sun­light causes ice to build back up quickly. This year, though, growth has been much slower. Sea ice data shows that ice ex­tent is the lowest on record for this time of year by a long shot.

The para­graphs above were taken from “Some Arctic Sea Ice Is Acting Like It’s Mid-Summer” by Brian Kahn for Giz­modo (No­vember 15, 2019).

To read the com­plete ar­ticle, click HERE.

Satel­lite data re­veal how the new record low Arctic sea ice ex­tent com­pares to the av­erage min­imum ex­tent over the past thirty years. Click To Tweet

HighestLatitudes NASA 1000

FEA­TURED IMAGE: The image at the top of this page is from “Arctic Sea Ice Hits Smallest Ex­tent In Satel­lite Era” on the NASA web­site and cour­tesy of NASA/Goddard Sci­en­tific Vi­su­al­iza­tion Studio.

“Satel­lite data re­veal how the new record low Arctic sea ice ex­tent, from Sept. 16, 2012, com­pares to the av­erage min­imum ex­tent over the past 30 years (in yellow). Sea ice ex­tent maps are de­rived from data cap­tured by the Scan­ning Mul­ti­channel Mi­crowave Ra­diometer aboard NASA’s Nimbus-7 satel­lite and the Spe­cial Sensor Mi­crowave Im­ager on mul­tiple satel­lites from the De­fense Me­te­o­ro­log­ical Satel­lite Program.” 



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