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Arctic sea ice melting faster: Study

Last Updated: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 20:17

New York: Arctic sea ice melted 50
percent faster than the average rate during May 2010, with
combined global land and ocean surface temperature being the
warmest on record for the period from January-May, studies
have suggested.

Research at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration (NOAA) has shown that the combined global land
and ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for
the period from January-May.

During May 2010, Arctic sea ice melted 50 percent
faster than the average May melting rate, according to the
National Snow and Ice Data Centre.

Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during May 2010
was a record low at 4.3 million square kilometres below the
long-term average. North America and Eurasia both had
record-low snow extents for the month.

Warm temperatures were present over most of the
globe`s land areas. The warmest temperature anomalies occurred
in eastern North America, eastern Brazil, Eastern Europe,
southern Asia, eastern Russia, and equatorial Africa.

The Chinese province of Yunnan had its warmest May
since 1951. Numerous locations in Ontario, Canada had their
warmest May on record. The combined global land and ocean
surface temperature for May was the warmest on record, at
0.69 degree C above the 20th century average of 14.8 degree C.

The combined global land and ocean average surface
temperature for the March-May season was 14.4 degree C, which is the warmest such period on record and 0.73 degree C above the 20th
century average of 13.7 degree C.

The global land surface temperature for May was 1.04 degree C
above the 20th century average of 11.1 degree C the warmest on
record. The worldwide land surface temperature for March-May
was 2.20 degree F 1.22 degree C above the 20th century average of 8.1 degree C the warmest on record.

Arctic sea ice covered an average of 5.06 million
square miles (13.1 million square kilometres) during May. This
is 3.7 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent and the
ninth-smallest May footprint since records began in 1979.

Antarctic sea ice extent in May was 7.3 percent above
the 1979-2000 average, resulting in the fourth largest May
extent on record.

Northern hemisphere March-May snow cover extent was
fourth smallest on record, while the North American (including
Greenland) snow cover extent for spring (March-May) 2010 was
the smallest on record.

Cool conditions were present across western North
America, northern Argentina, interior Asia, and Western
Europe. Germany had its coolest May since 1991 and its 12th
coolest May on record.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, June 17, 2010 - 20:17
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