Following an abnormally warm spring, the Arctic has lost a record amount of ice for the month of June,  from both sea surface ice and glaciers in Greenland. On June 12, parts of Greenland saw temperatures rise up to 40°F (22°C) above normal, but not before the sea ice extent shrunk to 494,983 square miles (1,282,000 square kilometers) below the 1981-2010 average for June 10.

To put his in perspective, the nearly half-million square miles of missing ice is an area larger than the states of Arizona, California, Nevada and Oregon combined. Although June isn’t over yet, 2016 held the previous record for lowest ice extent for this time of the year. And a high-pressure system is forecast to remain in place over Greenland from now until the end of August, a situation that could mean more warm weather for parts of the Arctic, accompanied by accelerated ice melt.

The yearly record holder for the lowest sea ice extent is still September 2012, when ice coverage shrank to 1.38 million square miles (3.6 million square kilometers), nearly 1.1 million square miles (2.84 million sq km) below normal for that month.

Although the years since have seen better ice coverage, the overall trend since the late 1970s is a steady year-over-year decrease in the size of the planet’s ice cap. It still remains to be seen as to whether or not 2019 will break the 2012 record.

Earth’s polar ice is important in that it reflects solar radiation back into space, helping to keep temperatures stable. However, as the ice melts, it exposes open water that absorbs solar radiation much easier than the ice would have, contributing to the planet’s absorption of yet even more heat.

2 Comments

  1. More evidence of anthropogenic induced climate change. Its not the earths core heating, its not aliens doing it to wipe us out and its not the sun getting warmer.

    It gets worse month by month. This is a slow moving natural disaster globally. The ultra right sees it as fake or natural, when will they wake up! Please read and try and comprehend this–https://climate.nasa.gov/evidence/

  2. So umm… The master of the key’s prediction? Is it time? Cause I feel the pressure otherwise. I would even say somewhere around 2021 all the infinite inevitabilities will have added up regardless. I guess that humans have just gone on living with the elephant in the room. I’m glad I read The Key when it was first published (I still have the original). Because I seem to be the only one around me with an exit strategy. Whitley, I want to say thank you, however the next couple of years turn out. I was just a kid growing up in San Antonio when I was trying to get my hands on your books. My copy of The Path is rather worn at this point. I had been studying with the Anthroposophists then and to know you were a student of Gurdjieff and esoteric science validated my own effort. Your work was the thing that propelled me. At one point I lived with Theravada monks. But I can honestly say using your technique of focusing on the different parts of the body, while remaining conscious of the whole, is how I learned to meditate. Now all these years later I can drop into the theta brainwave state almost at will. However short these words are, I would like you to know you influenced a mind that ended up becoming productive. This is my heartfelt thank you.

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