Skating away (on the thin ice of a new day)

Mar-2008-Ice-Age.jpg A new forecast for this summer’s Arctic sea ice melt suggests that there’s a 60% chance that this year’s minimum will set a new record. Work by researchers at the University of Colorado’s Center for Astrodynamics Research shows that the current ice is much thinner than usual:

“The current Arctic ice cover is thinner and younger than at any previous time in our recorded history, and this sets the stage for rapid melt and a new record low,” said Research Associate Sheldon Drobot, who leads CCAR’s Arctic Regional Ice Forecasting System group in CU-Boulder’s aerospace engineering sciences department. Overall, 63 percent of the Arctic ice cover is younger than average, and only 2 percent is older than average, according to Drobot.

The image above shows the age of the current ice cover compared to average for this time of year (you can click on the image to see a larger version). Yellow is the same as average, red is younger. For the bigger picture, visit the Arctic Ice Forecasting System pages at UC.

This has prompted me to increase my sea ice bet with William “Stoat” Connolley by £10 to £30 (plus a signed copy of Hot Topic). With the seasonal melt speeding up, the race is on…

[Hat-tip to Eli Rabett]

7 thoughts on “Skating away (on the thin ice of a new day)”

  1. I aim for the eclectic approach in my post headers. A high proportion are based on song titles, and most of those come from hunting through my iTunes library for a few key words.
    I’m running out of ice and sun ones, though…

    [Edited to add: For all our sakes, I’d prefer to lose.]

  2. Yes, but that has Vikings.

    We come from the land of the ice and snow,
    From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.
    How soft your fields so green, can whisper tales of gore,
    Of how we calmed the tides of war. We are your overlords.

    On their way to Grünland, perhaps?

  3. “From the midnight sun where the hot springs blow.”

    They should have stayed at home and used passive solar and geothermal…

    How sound is Helen Clark’s argument that high petrol prices are cutting emissions? Are there any figures on petrol usage?

    Worldwide, there seems to be hardly any decline.

  4. MED quarterly data till end 2007 shows a 4% drop in total refined product consumption on 2006 figures. 2007 is only just above 2003 levels. Petrol and diesel are flat or a bit lower. The big drop is in aviation and “other” which includes bitumen, lubes, solvents, waxes, petroleum coke, white spirit and other liquid fuels, probably indicating a reporting error as it halves.

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