Scientists Report Further Shrinking of Arctic Ice
Area Is Close To All-Time Low
By Juliet Eilperin
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, August 27, 2008; Page A03
Arctic sea ice has shrunk to the second-lowest level since record-keeping began three decades ago, a group of international researchers determined yesterday, a revelation underscoring how rapidly climate change is transforming ecosystems in northern latitudes.
The extent of Arctic sea ice is now 2 million square miles below the long-term average for Aug. 26, according to the International Arctic Research Center and the Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, a figure that is within 400,000 square miles of the all-time record low set in September 2007. This figure is already below the long-term average for September ice cover and because the ice traditionally reaches its minimum level in mid-September, researchers warned that a new low might be recorded within weeks.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), which independently analyzes Arctic ice cover, will announce today that it has reached the same conclusion, based on a five-day mean of satellite measurements.