June Set Record Low for Average Arctic Sea Ice - Global Trade Magazine
  July 14th, 2016 | Written by

June Set Record Low for Average Arctic Sea Ice

[shareaholic app="share_buttons" id="13106399"]

Sharelines

  • Arctic sea ice during June 2016 was 100,000 square miles below the previous record set in 2010.
  • So far, March is the only month in 2016 that has not set a new record low for Arctic ice.
  • Slow rate of Arctic ice loss reflects prevailing atmospheric pattern.

For those waiting the advent of regular cargo shipping across an Arctic Ocean route, data collected last month brought welcome news.

Arctic sea ice extent during June 2016 averaged 4.09 million square miles, the lowest record for the month since satellites have been observing the phenomenon. June was 100,000 square miles below the previous record set in 2010, and 525,000 square miles below the 1981-to-2010 long-term average.

So far, March is the only month in 2016 that has not set a new record low for Arctic ice. These figures were released by the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center.

Although the disappearance of Arctic ice brought about by global warming, the upside is that the phenomenon may open up a northern passage for global ocean shipping through the region, a condition which would cut transit times and costs on some trading routes.

The average rate of ice loss during June 2016 was 22,000 square miles per day, but was marked by two distinct regimes, the NSDIC reported. First, there was a period of slow loss during June 4 to 14 of 14,000 square miles) per day. This was followed by above average rates of 29,000 square miles for the rest of the month.

Results from NASA’s Operation IceBridge aircraft missions conducted during late April and early May indicate that first-year ice thicknesses in the region were found to be thinner than is typical at the end of winter. This, the NSDIC reported, “is consistent with the usually high temperatures characterizing last winter.” Very thin ice of less than 1.6 feet was found in some places near the Alaskan coast.

The IceBridge results are generally in agreement with the ice thickness surveys conducted in early April by researchers from York University, in Toronto. A study released by York University last year concluded that Arctic sea ice remains too thick and treacherous for a Northwest Passage to emerge as a regular commercial shipping route for some decades.

For those waiting the advent of regular cargo shipping across an Arctic Ocean route, data collected last month brought welcome news.

Arctic sea ice extent during June 2016 averaged 4.09 million square miles, the lowest record for the month since satellites have been observing the phenomenon. June was 100,000 square miles below the previous record set in 2010, and 525,000 square miles below the 1981-to-2010 long-term average.

So far, March is the only month in 2016 that has not set a new record low for Arctic ice. These figures were released by the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center.

Although the disappearance of Arctic ice brought about by global warming, the upside is that the phenomenon may open up a northern passage for global ocean shipping through the region, a condition which would cut transit times and costs on some trading routes.

The average rate of ice loss during June 2016 was 22,000 square miles per day, but was marked by two distinct regimes, the NSDIC reported. First, there was a period of slow loss during June 4 to 14 of 14,000 square miles) per day. This was followed by above average rates of 29,000 square miles for the rest of the month.

Results from NASA’s Operation IceBridge aircraft missions conducted during late April and early May indicate that first-year ice thicknesses in the region were found to be thinner than is typical at the end of winter. This, the NSDIC reported, “is consistent with the usually high temperatures characterizing last winter.” Very thin ice of less than 1.6 feet was found in some places near the Alaskan coast.

The IceBridge results are generally in agreement with the ice thickness surveys conducted in early April by researchers from York University, in Toronto. A study released by York University last year concluded that Arctic sea ice remains too thick and treacherous for a Northwest Passage to emerge as a regular commercial shipping route for some decades.

Need a Logistics Provider?

Compare over 100 Instantly