Sea ice extent shows a similar descent, as illustrated by the NSIDC image below.
The situation is dire, given that methane concentrations have risen strongly following an earthquake that hit the Gakkel Ridge on March 6, 2014, as illustrated by the image below.
|[ click on image to enlarge ]|
The image below shows that sea surface temperatures are anomalously high in the Arctic Ocean and off the east coast of North America, from where warm water is carried by the Gulf Stream into the Arctic Ocean.
The prospect of an El Niño event makes the situation even more dire. NOAA recently issued an El Niño Watch. This follows a conclusion by an international research team that found a 75% likelyhood of an El Niño event in late 2014.
The consequences of sea ice collapse would be devastating, as all the heat that previously went into transforming ice into water will be asbsorbed by even darker water, from where less sunlight will be reflected back into space. The danger is that further warming of the Arctic Ocean will trigger massive methane releases is unacceptable and calls for comprehensive and effective action as discussed at the Climate Plan blog.
- M4.5 Earthquake hits Gakkel Ridge
- Climate Plan blog