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    Global climate change

    A Closer Look at the Polar Regions

    8/30/2013, 10:40:58 AM

    As I stated in the previous post, the annual minimum sea ice extent in the Arctic this season will not be a record breaker as the overall weather pattern in the region has been nearly opposite of what it was last year when we had the new record low sea ice extent.

    The Canadian Ice Service put together a nice, visible satellite composite (below) of the Arctic from Aug. 20 to the 26.

    590x621_08301814_20130826000000_modiscom-t_0007233842


    The University of Bremen image below shows the latest Arctic sea ice extent (red) compared to other years going back to 1979.

    590x472_08301805_extent_n_running_mean_amsr2_regular


    The second and third images below from the University of Bremen show the sea ice concentration in the Arctic exactly one year apart. The first image is from Aug. 29, 2012, and the second is from Aug. 29, 2013. Note the changes. The purple colored areas indicate a higher concentration of sea ice, while greens and yellows show reduced concentrations.


    350x535_08301809_asi-amsr2-n6250-20120829-v5_nic

    350x535_08301809_arctic_amsr2_nic


    Keep in mind, the differences between the two images are not an indication of a new trend, but are just an interesting comparison showing how a change in the summer weather patterns from one year to the next can impact sea ice.

    Antarctic Sea Ice possibly headed for another record high?

    On the opposite side, the winter sea ice extent in the Antarctic may reach another record maximum this year. However, note that there is much less difference (much more stable due to a number of natural factors) in extent between the years in the Antarctic compared to the Arctic.


    590x472_08301819_extent_s_running_mean_amsr2_regular

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com

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    Global climate change