Monday, June 20, 2011

Retreating Sea Ice

Here is a NOAA-19 Polar Orbiter photo (from NWS Alaska Region) taken early Monday afternoon, with clear skies over much of Arctic Alaska. The ice edge is very well defined, with only a little shorefast ice on the coast and a few chucks in the open southern Chukchi Sea large enough to show up in this 1.6 km resolution image. There is also a little ice left in Kotzebue sound south of Cape Espenberg. Needless to say, this is much less ice than use to be normal for mid-June. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, the total ice cover as of June 19th across the entire Arctic is easily the lowest ever since satellite measurement of Arctic ice cover started in 1979.

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