Photo by, Adrian Seligman (Hemsedal, Norway)
On August 26, Arctic sea ice hit an all time low of less then 1.5 million square miles. This marked a 45 percent drop in Arctic sea ice compared to the 1980s and 1990s. This unparalleled drop in Arctic sea ice has the potential to change Arctic temperatures and thus alter the jet stream by slowing it down and making it more prone to huge dips. Climate scientists believe that the added heat due to the ice melt and it’s influence on the jet stream could lead to extreme weather events for the U.S. and Europe. This news was made public following a conference call of climate scientists hosted by Climate Nexus on September 6, 2012.
No one knows exactly how the record low Arctic sea ice will effect the 2012 – 2013 winter but climate scientists agree that it’s going to be a very interesting winter.
This illustration, based on satellite data from Aug. 27, shows this year’s record-low sea ice extent in the Arctic Ocean, in white. The orange line depicts the median sea ice extent from 1979 to 2000, reflecting a decline in sea ice cover of 40 percent in the last three decades. (National Snow and Ice Data Center)