Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Circumnavigating the Arctic Ocean

It's not often possible to circumnavigate the Arctic Ocean but this year two expeditions are hopeful of doing so -- the Norwegian explorer Borge Ousland and the Peter I yacht from Russia.
Their task looks possible because average ice extent for August was 5.98 million square kilometers (2.31 million square miles), 1.69 million square kilometers (653,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average, but 620,000 square kilometers (240,000 square miles) above the average for August 2007, the lowest August in the satellite record. Ice extent remained below the 1979 to 2000 average everywhere except in the East Greenland Sea near Svalbard.
Average ice extent for August was 5.98 million square kilometers (2.31 million square miles), 1.69 million square kilometers (653,000 square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average, but 620,000 square kilometers (240,000 square miles) above the average for August 2007, the lowest August in the satellite record.
Ice extent remained below the 1979 to 2000 average everywhere except in the East Greenland Sea near Svalbard.
8-09-2010 arcticseaice
-- Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center
The graph above shows daily Arctic sea ice extent as of September 6, 2010, along with daily ice extents for years with the four lowest minimum extents.
The solid light blue line indicates 2010; orange shows 2009, pink shows 2008; dashed green shows 2007; light green shows 2005; and solid gray indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. The gray area around the average line shows the two standard deviation range of the data.
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