Current image from Terra Satellite, rotated 90 degrees to improve view, plus annotation and world view inset added by Anthony
Source image is available here at the NASA Terra website
Originally published 02:57 p.m., August 29, 2008
Updated 02:57 p.m., August 29, 2008
Santa can rest easy.
It’s looking like the ice at the North Pole won’t melt to water next month, as had been feared. It would have been the first time in thousands of years that the most northerly place on the planet would have been ice-free.
“It’s quite unlikely at this point,” Walt Meier a research scientist at the University of Colorado’s National Snow and Ice Data Center, said today.
The ice in the Arctic Ocean is at near historic lows, and breaks records every couple of years due to human-caused global warming, the scientists at NSIDC say.
This spring, it was looking like the ice might retreat so far that the North Pole itself would be ice-free for at least a day in September – the height of the ice-melt season.
The chances were great enough that the scientists at NSIDC were laying almost even odds on it in an office pool.
But while global warming is playing an important role, seasonal variability does, too. And this summer turned out to be a little cooler than last summer, when the record for ice retreat was set, Meier said.
“We only have about two or three weeks more of ice melt, and it’s not going to make it to the North Pole,” Meier said.
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