The melting of the Arctic Ocean smashes record

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  • NASA shows that the ice level has marked a record low

  • The previous record was recorded in 2007, a much hotter summer

  • The thaw is expected to increase over the coming weeks

  • Scientists also found a reduction in the thickness of the layer

    Although still not over the summer, the melting of the Arctic Ocean has recorded this year reached the highest level since 1979, when they began to be measured. The extent of sea ice in 2012 is now even lower than in September 2007, which saw a record low.

    Given the reduction in ice extent in recent weeks, scientists and hoped this result , which has been confirmed by satellite imagery captured on 26 August by a U.S. satellite and performed by NASA and the Center Data National Snow and Ice ( NSIDC , its acronym in English), located in Boulder.

    On August 26 ice covered 4.10 million square kilometers, 70,000 less than the surface recorded in 2007
    As these images show, on August 26 ice covered 4.10 million square kilometers, 70,000 kilometers below the surface recorded in September 2007 (which was 4.17 million km2).

    The thaw is not over yet

    Researchers at the U.S. space agency considered these data particularly worrisome, especially considering that there are still several weeks left in the summer (usually the ice stops melting in mid to late September). That is, the ice is expected to be further reduced . In fact, the previous record occurred on September 18, 2007.

    The layer of ice covering the Arctic Ocean grows during winter thaws and partially during the summers, in a natural process that acts as a regulator of global climate. However, during the last three decades the satellites that monitor the advance and retreat of ice throughout the year have seen a reduction of 13% in ice extent during the summers.

    And not only decreases the. The thickness of the ice is also falling . A dangerous phenomenon, since that reduces the thickness of the ice that does not melt in summer has contributed, according to scientists, to the extent of summer ice surface has reached the lowest level in history. And, as highlights, 2012 has not been particularly hot in the Arctic , unlike the summer of 2007, when the previous record was recorded.

    “2007 was a year much warmer”, said Joey Comiso, a research epacial Goddard Center in Greenbelt, in a press release issued by the U.S. space agency. Comiso warns of the consequences of reducing the thickness of the layer in which melting occurs in summer.

    The comparative analysis of the data shows that, including this year, the six lower registers have occurred in the past six years (2007 to 2012).

    Once you are completed with data records of September, NASA scientists published a full report on the season in the Arctic, which will be ready in early October.

    For NASA scientists what happened in recent years shows that the result of this year is not only a new record. If contextualize the information gathered in recent years, it is an indication that the behavior of the Arctic ice is changing .

    He knows well the Russian President. Vladimir Putin has seen rapid commercial benefits linked to melting, which is allowing for the first time navigating this area so far untouched. The last July passed a law to regulate for the first time navigating the Arctic sea route , a route that you plan to use to transport goods and significantly reduce the time it takes now to travel from Russia to Asia crossing the channel Suez. To this end, plans to build infrastructure and ports on the Arctic coast and invest in powerful icebreakers.

    Conservationists have also expressed concern over the impact that the removal of ice can cause the migration of some animal species by the impact of these changes in the food chain.

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