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article imageArctic sea ice coverage in October is the smallest ever recorded

By Karen Graham     Nov 19, 2019 in Environment
Planet Earth continued to sweat in unrelenting heat last month making October 2019 the second-hottest October recorded, just behind 2015, while Arctic sea ice coverage shrank to its smallest size yet for October.
The U.S. research vessel Sikuliaq was constructed to break through ice as thick as 2.5 feet (0.76 meters), according to the Associated Press. However, while in the Chukchi Sea northwest of Alaska this month, the vessel's capabilities won't need to be tested.
On Nov. 7, the 261-foot (79.5-meter) ship, with University of Washington researchers left Nome and crossed through the Bering Strait to record observations at numerous sites, including Utqiaġvik, formerly Barrow, America’s northernmost community.
And while sea ice is beginning to creep toward Utqiaġvik from the east in the Beaufort Sea, in order for the Sikuliaq to find ice in the Chukchi Sea, the ship would have to travel northwest for about 200 miles (322 kilometers).
The  research vessel Sikuliaq at Woods Hole  Massachusetts  USA.
The research vessel Sikuliaq at Woods Hole, Massachusetts, USA.
James Buchanan (CC BY-SA 4.0)
The Arctic today is the "new reality," and instead of measuring years-old ice, researchers are left to study wave and current patterns and how they affect coastal erosion in northern Alaska. “We’re trying to understand what the new autumn looks like in the Arctic,” said Jim Thomson, an oceanographer at the UW Applied Physics Laboratory, according to the New York Post.
Climate by the numbers
NOAA’s latest monthly global climate report shows that not only was October 2019 the second-hottest October recorded, just behind 2015 - but it was also the second-hottest year to date (January through October) on record for the globe.
Arctic sea ice coverage was the smallest ever recorded for October at 32.2 percent below the 1981–2010 average. Significantly - the 10 smallest Arctic sea ice extents for October have all occurred since 2007.
The warmer Arctic temperatures are wreaking havoc on the Arctic ecosystem  decimating wildlife popul...
The warmer Arctic temperatures are wreaking havoc on the Arctic ecosystem, decimating wildlife populations including reindeer
MARTIN BUREAU, AFP
Europe, Africa, Oceania, the Caribbean, and the Hawaiian Islands region experienced temperatures that ranked among the three highest on record for October, while the average sea temperature for the year-to-date was only one-tenth of a degree cooler than the record-warm sea surface temperature observed in 2016.
This latest information is in line with an assessment made in September this year based on new research that has been published in the journal Geology, according to Digital Journal.
Related research also shows that Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September during each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees. This temperature increase is likely should global warming continue at its current rate.
More about Arctic sea ice, average sea temperature, arctic sea ice extent, second warmest october on record, Environment
 
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