Few organisms have adapted to life on an ice cap, although many plants and animals live on the cold periphery. Sea ice extent is above average along a wide area of the Ross Sea and Wilkes Land coast, and in the Eastern Weddell Sea. This plot shows average sea level pressure in the Arctic in millibars (hPa) for October 2020. Including 2020, the linear rate of decline for October sea ice extent is 10.1 percent per decade. About the dataCredit: University of BremenHigh-resolution image. Researchers Walt Meier, Ted Scambos, Mark Serreze, and Julienne Stroeve regularly contribute to ASINA, sometimes featuring guest authors, and with support from Kevin Beam, Andy Barrett, Lisa Booker, Michael Brandt, Florence Fetterer, Matt Fisher, Agnieszka Gautier, Marin Klinger, Jonathan Kovarik, Jed Lenetsky, Luis Espinosa Lopez, Audrey Payne, Bruce Raup, Matt Savoie, Trey Stafford, Bruce Wallin, and Ann Windnagel. Air temperatures at the 925 hPa level (about 2,500 feet above the surface) were 4 to 5 degrees Celsius (7 to 9 degrees Fahrenheit) above average for the month across much of the Central and Western Arctic Ocean and the Siberian Arctic coast, as well as over Northern Greenland. The extents in km2 for the current and for the years of minimum and maximum extents are provided below the image. J. C. Comiso, C. L. Parkinson, T. Markus, D. J. Cavalieri and R. Gersten. Read scientific analysis on Arctic sea ice conditions. Antarctic sea ice extent reached its seasonal maximum of 18.95 million square kilometers (7.32 million square miles) on September 28, as was tentatively reported in the October post. This has the effect of delaying sea ice formation—before ice can form, the ocean must lose this heat to the atmosphere and then to space (Figure 4a). The ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica is … Forests rim some ice caps in Iceland, Russia, and Canada. Sea Ice Index data. Since then, Antarctic sea ice has declined by 1.30 million square kilometers (502,000 million square miles), but at a rate slightly slower than the average, resulting in a slight increase in the difference between the daily sea ice extent and the 1981 to 2010 average. Figure 3. In contrast, in the Antarctic the sea ice coverage has been increasing although at a lesser rate than the decreases in the Arctic. Sea ice extent is the integral sum of the areas of all grid cells with at least 15% ice concentration, while sea ice area is the integral sum of the product of ice concentration and area of all grid cells with at least 15% ice concentration. From October 13 into early November, the daily sea ice extent was the lowest for that day in the satellite record. A polar ice cap is an extensive area of land at the North or South Pole covered with massive amounts of ice. Sea Ice Index data. Large heat transfers from the open water to the atmosphere have manifested as above-average air temperatures near the surface of the ocean. A synthesis of scientific sea ice extent projections during Arctic summer, updated monthly during melt season. Temperatures in Central Canada were 1 to 4 degrees Celsius (2 to 7 degrees Fahrenheit) below average (Figure 2b). The polar ice caps on earth are located at the North Pole and the South Pole. Paired with the 2019 Arctic heatwave, this melting rate may produce disastrous outcomes. This figure shows a profile of temperature (in color) for the lower half of the atmosphere (500 to 1,000 millibars, or about 18,000 feet to the surface) versus latitude, averaged along a swath of longitudes from 140 to 170 degrees E. With longer periods of open water during spring and summer, more solar energy is absorbed within the upper part of the ocean. Over the 42-year satellite record, the Arctic has lost about 3.45 million square kilometers (1.33 million square miles) of ice in October, based on the difference in linear trend values in 2019 and 1979. With longer periods of open water during spring and summer, more solar energy is absorbed within the upper few tens of meters of the ocean. Throughout the month, sea ice grew by an average of 71,200 square kilometers (27,500 square miles) per day, which is close to the average rate for 1981 to 2010. The plots and color-coded maps are chosen to provide information about the current state of the sea ice cover and how the most current daily data available compare with the record lows and record highs for the same date during the satellite era. A vast area of the Arctic Ocean remains ice free as November begins, far later in the season than is typical. Forests rim some ice caps in Iceland, Russia, and Canada. This chart shows Northern Sea Route (NSR) shipping traffic for August 2020 and other shipping information for that region. Click for high-resolution image. These images use data from the AMSR-E/AMSR2 Unified Level-3 12.5 km product. However, in 2020, the Northern Sea Route was essentially ice free from mid-July through about October 25. Sea ice extent for October 2020 was 5.28 million square kilometers (2.04 million square miles), placing it lowest in the satellite record for the month. See About the Cryosphere. The delay in ice regrowth leads to large departures from average in sea ice extent in the time after the summer minimum and particularly in the month of October. This plot shows the departure from average air temperature in the Arctic at the 925 hPa level, in degrees Celsius, for October 2020. Figure 5. Figure 2a. Deep blue colors depict low autumn sea ice extent over the past 15 years.Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center High-resolution image. It has been a focus of attention in recent years, largely because of a strong decrease in the Arctic sea ice cover and modeling results that indicate that global warming could be amplified in the Arctic on account of ice-albedo feedback.

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