Arctic Ocean records all time fifth lowest wintertime sea ice extent
Washington: After a record melt season last year, the Arctic Ocean`s icy cover shrank to its lowest extent on record, continuing a long-term trend and diminishing to about half the size of the average summertime extent from 1979 to 2000.
During the cold and dark of Arctic winter, sea ice refreezes and achieves its maximum extent, usually in late February or early March.
According to a NASA analysis, this year the annual maximum extent was reached on February 28 and it was the fifth lowest sea ice winter extent in the past 35 years.
The new maximum -5.82 million square miles (15.09 million square kilometers)- is in line with a continuing trend in declining winter Arctic sea ice extent.
Nine of the ten smallest recorded maximums have occurred during the last decade.
The 2013 winter extent is 144,402 square miles (374,000 square kilometers) below the average annual maximum extent for the last three decades.
"The Arctic region is in darkness during winter and the predominant type of radiation is long-wave or infrared, which is associated with greenhouse warming," Joey Comiso, senior scientist at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and a principal investigator of NASA`s Cryospheric Sciences Program, said.
"A decline in the sea ice cover in winter is thus a manifestation of the effect of the increasing greenhouse gases on sea ice," he said.
Satellite data retrieved since the late 1970s show that sea ice extent, which includes all areas of the Arctic Ocean where ice covers at least 15 percent of the ocean surface, is diminishing.
This decline is occurring at a much faster pace in the summer than in the winter; in fact, some models predict that the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in the summer in just a few decades.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- Kejriwal knew Tomar possessed fake degree, says Yogendra Yadav
- Ajinkya Rahane to captain India on Zimbabwe tour; Dhoni, Kohli rested
- Shiv Sena slams HC order banning erection of pandals on roads
- Top leader of NSCN(K) arrested for Manipur attacks by NIA
- Vijender Singh turns professional boxer, to miss 2016 Rio Olympics
- India vs Zimbabwe: Ajinkya Rahane to lead; MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli rested
- Tihar Jail's security breached: Lt Governor Najeeb Jung orders probe, Centre seeks report
- Chinese military research academy praises India's main battle tank Arjun, says it's 'very good'
- Gangster Abu Salem ready to tie the knot with girl seeking to marry him
- Vijender Singh brings down curtains on India career, turns professional