September 16th, 2010
02:40 PM ET

Scientists: Arctic ice nearing record low

This image shows the changing size of ice in the Arctic.

Sea ice covering the Arctic reached the third lowest level ever recorded this summer, scientists reported this week.

There was less sea ice in the Arctic only during the summers of 2007 and 2008, the National Ice and Snow Data Center at the University of Colorado reported.

Researchers think higher global temperatures attributable to human-produced greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are responsible for the low amount of ice, according to the NISDC report.

The sea ice reached its summer minimum on September 10 at 1.84 million square miles, NISDC researchers said. While that amount is 240,000 square miles above 2007’s record low, it is still 130,000 square miles less than was seen at the 2009 minimum, said Mark Serreze, a University of Colorado geography professor and director of the NISDC.

"We are still looking at summers with an ice-free Arctic Ocean in perhaps 20 to 30 years," Serreze said.

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  1. James Pound

    1. A slight percent increase in co2 does not necessarily trigger global warming. 2. The biggest greenhouse gas is water vapor. 3. As the planet warms it releases more co2, so is warming causing a rise in co2 (yes I know we inject a lot but I am talking on a planetary scale). 4. Not one climate model that I have ever hear of understands fully the effect of clouds. They reflect heat away and also trap heat. 5. The sun (obviously the source of 99.999999% of our heat) has cycles that are yet to be fully understood. 6. Volcanic eruptions have a huge impact on the environment, though they only produce 1/10,000th the co2 as we do.

    No doubt the earth is warming, but how much is caused by man and whether it is a good thing or a bad thing overall remains to be seen. Obviously Co2 is a good thing (we need the green house effect to keep from freezing to death), but can also be a bad thing if there is too much. Regardless of whether we have anthropogenic global warming and if we do what degree is man caused both are questions that are getting answered, but are not yet answered. It doesn't hurt to make changes to lower the co2 such as planting tree's, stopping deforestation, developing co2 neutral fuels such as bio diesel and co2 negative energy sources such as solar geothermal, wind, tidal and nuclear, but keep in mind that overreacting can be much more costly than a measured slow response as technologies scale and efficiencies in alternatives are found. No need for everyone to strip themselves to fig leaves and start eating weeds and living in caves just yet.

    September 17, 2010 at 4:11 am | Report abuse |
  2. phil

    Bob Loblaw, excuse me but I think your reasoning is flawed. India and China count their people by the billions while US does so by the millions. If you break it down on a per capoita basis you see that the avg. American consumes and pollutes much, much more. comprende?

    September 17, 2010 at 7:43 am | Report abuse |
  3. YankeeTex

    Hmmm. I think this article says that 2007 was less ice than now. So man made global warming is causing the ice to increase? Looks like we added 244,000 square miles since 07. Quick everyone, panic!!! It's a crisis!! Let's appoint a czar to start euthanizing the populace. If the cause is people, then let's eliminate them.

    September 17, 2010 at 8:06 am | Report abuse |
  4. Thorrsman

    At the end of summer, the Arctic ice leave is low. NOT record low, but merely "near" record low. Ho hum, saw the same thing last year at this time. And the year before, as well. The AGW fanatics are getting more desperate as the evidence that they were completely wrong mounts higher.

    September 20, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
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