Jan 9, 2009

Arctic makes top ten list

Each year Environment Canada releases its annual top-ten weather stories, this year the Arctic made the number two spot on the list.  Of noteworthy importance that led to the region making the weather listing was the record-setting retreat of sea ice during the month of August which saw an average of approximately 84,686 square kilometers lost per day — a staggering number which roughly translates into an area larger than New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island combined!  What is interesting about the August sea ice loss figure is that it was almost some 21,000 square kilometers above the 2007 numbers.  (The overall 2007 sea ice melt season is the current benchmark for minimum sea ice extent figures, 2008 being the runner-up.) 
With so much sea ice loss over the past several years, the Arctic region now has more first-year sea ice than previously observed and therefore on a volume basis is at its lowest levels in modern history!