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Arctic sea ice cover
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The latest data from NASA and the University of Colorado at Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Centre show the continuation of a decade-long trend of shrinking sea ice extent in the Arctic, including new evidence for thinning ice as well.
The researchers, who have been tracking Arctic sea ice cover with satellites since 1979, found that the winter of 2008-09 was the fifth lowest maximum ice extent on record. The six lowest maximum events in the satellite record have all occurred in the past six years, according to CU-Boulder researcher Walt Meier of NSIDC.

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RE: Arctic Ocean
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Arctic Heats Up More than Other Places
Temperature change in the Arctic is happening at a greater rate than other places in the Northern Hemisphere, and this is expected to continue in the future.
As a result, glacier and ice-sheet melting, sea-ice retreat, coastal erosion and sea level rise can be expected to continue.
A new comprehensive scientific synthesis of past Arctic climates demonstrates for the first time the pervasive nature of Arctic climate amplification.
The U.S. Geological Survey led this new assessment, which is a synthesis of published science literature and authored by a team of climate scientists from academia and government. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program commissioned the report, which has contributions from 37 scientists from the United States, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and Denmark.

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Two polar explorers from Devon are undergoing final tests in Canada before the start of a major scientific survey.
The pioneering 3m expedition will plot the future of the Arctic ice cap.
Pen Hadow, who lives on Dartmoor, and Ann Daniels, of Whimple, will use specially-built radar to measure the thickness of the ice.
About 10 million measurements will be taken to help scientists to calculate more accurately how long the dwindling ice cap might last.

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Clue to break-up of ice shelves
US researchers have come up with a way to predict the rate at which ice shelves break apart into icebergs.
These sometimes spectacular occurrences, called calving events, are a key step in the process by which climate change drives sea level rise.
Computer models that simulate how ice sheets might behave in a warmer world do not describe the calving process in much detail, Science journal reports.

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"To predict the future of the ice sheet and to understand the past, we have to put the information into a computer. The models we have do not currently have any way to figure out where the big ice sheets end and where the ice calves off to form icebergs" - Richard B. Alley, the Evan Pugh professor of geosciences.

Ice sheets, such as those in Antarctica and Greenland, spread under their own weight and flow off land over the oceans. The Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica floats for as much as 500 miles over the ocean before the edges begin to break and create icebergs. Other ice shelves only edge over the water for a mile or two.

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After reaching the second-lowest extent ever recorded last month, sea ice in the Arctic has begun to refreeze in the face of autumn temperatures, closing both the Northern Sea Route and the direct route through the Northwest Passage.

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Posts: 128096
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Arctic sea ice
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Crucial Arctic sea ice this summer shrank to its second lowest level on record, continuing an alarming trend, scientists said Tuesday.
The ice covered 1.74 million square miles on Friday, marking a low point for this summer, according to NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. Last summer, the sea ice covered only 1.59 million square miles, the lowest since record-keeping began in 1979.

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RE: Arctic Ocean
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Arctic sea ice coverage appears to have reached its lowest extent for the year.

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Arctic seafloor
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A scientific expedition this fall will map the unexplored Arctic seafloor where the U.S. and Canada may have sovereign rights over natural resources such as oil and gas and control over activities such as mining.
Both countries will use the resulting data to establish the outer limits of the continental shelf, according to the criteria set out in the Convention on the Law of the Sea. The extended continental shelf, the seafloor and subsoil beyond 200 nautical miles from shore that meet those criteria, is an area of great scientific interest and potential economic development.

The expedition will be collaboratively undertaken by the U.S. and Canada using two ships. The U.S. Geological Survey will lead data collection from September 6October 1 on the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy to map the Arctic seafloor. The Geological Survey of Canada, Natural Resources Canada will follow Healy on the Canadian Coast Guard ship Louis S. St. Laurent (Louis) and study the geology of the sub-seafloor.

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RE: Arctic Ocean
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Scientists say a global warming "tipping point" in the Arctic seems to be happening before their eyes.
The United States National Snow and Ice Data Centre says sea ice in the Arctic now covers about 5.2 million sq km. The lowest point since satellite measurements began in 1979 was 4.2 million sq km set last September.
With about three weeks left in the Arctic summer, this year could wind up breaking that previous record, scientists said

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A US Coast Guard cutter will depart for the Arctic this week as part of a race against Russia to claim the vast spoils of oil and natural gas below the sea floor that both nations are scrambling to exploit.
The cutter Healy will leave Barrow, Alaska, tomorrow on a three-week journey to map the Arctic Ocean floor in a relatively unexplored area at the northern edge of the Beaufort Sea, in an attempt to bolster US claims to the area by proving that it is part of its extended outer continental shelf. .

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