#6 Mark C. Serreze Says: 27 June 2008 at 3:31 PM
Gavin: I hope that I will not be pilloried by the community for being a part of this story. From what I can gather, it started with a piece in “National Geographic Online”, moved to a piece in “The Independent”, another piece on CNN, and then quickly grew out of all reasonable proportion. A positive feedback process. I’ll be the first to agree that losing the ice at the north pole this summer would be purely symbolic, but symbolism can be pretty darned powerful.
The headline on the piece "Exclusive: no ice at the North Pole" got the implied tense wrong, and I'm not sure that you can talk about a forecast as evidence (second heading), but still, the basis of the story is sound. The key issue is that since last year's dramatic summer ice anomaly, the winter ice that formed in that newly opened water is relatively thin (around 1 meter), compared to multi-year ice (3 meters or so). This new ice formed quite close to the Pole, and with the prevailing winds and currents (which push ice from Siberia towards Greenland) is now over the Pole itself. Given that only 30% of first year ice survives the summer, the chances that there will be significant open water at the pole itself is high
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