Where’s my jacket? And Arctic news

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So apparently I should have found my jacket this morning and maybe worn some socks and runners cuz the bus is freezing!

It’s around 10C with some clouds across the Island this morning. We can expect a decent warm day but I think it’s safe to say now that our hot hot heat is done for the year. You never know, sometimes we get another shot in September but in the main, I think the best we can hope for us highs around 20C. Which is pretty normal.

We are going to stay dry through it all. Not really any chance for significant rain through the next couple weeks. And the long long range models have us dry and at normal or slightly below normal temperatures through September.

I’d say in the grand scheme of things we had a pretty darn nice summer. And the best weather really did coincide with the kids getting out of school and now getting back to it so you can’t complain about that right?

In the end, it always seems too short.

………….

You will be hearing more and more about the Arctic in the coming weeks.

It is on its way to obliterating (shattering, destroying, anyone have a thesaurus?) the all time record for minimum summer sea ice coverage. There are still at least 3 weeks of melting left and already the record set in 2007 (and equalled in 2011) is falling. There are 9 scientific outposts that track Arctic ice around the world. Here is a great page that shows most of them in one place and they all show the same thing.

Currently 5 of the 9 dominoes have ‘fallen’.

The most recent Domino was the Arctic Basin Sea Ice Area. The Arctic basin is the place right at the top of the world that doesn’t have any islands in it at all and since it’s at the top, would logically be the last bit to melt out. Here is its graph.

20120823-073754.jpg

As you can see, 2007 was a watershed year for it and 2012 is fast becoming another big moment. You can see from the graph that it is now reaching down to half of its maximum area.

Anyone out there watch Deadliest Catch? I do too. Great show. You know how last season they were battling a lot with record ice in the Bering Sea? That was thanks to the cold PDO phase that has helped bring us our colder weather as well. Well. All that ice melted. Every last bit. Right up to within just 2000km of the North Pole (around the distance from Vancouver to Edmonton).

Were it not for the cooling and stabilizing effects of the landmasses of Greenland and the Canadian Archipelago I don’t think it’s unreasonable to say this year could have been the year the Arctic melted completely in summer.

A Danish site reported yesterday that ice within 100km of the North Pole is only 1 metre thick.

Don’t expect much in the major news broadcasts about this yet though. The most commonly reported source for Arctic ice is from the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Colorado. And because of the way they do their record keeping they will be delayed 5 or more days after everyone else. But it is inevitable that they will announce a new record soon. I would expect it sometime next week or early the week after at the very latest.

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