Lawrence Solomon: Another cold Arctic summer

The summer of 2010 was unusually cold, according to the Centre for Ocean and Ice at the Danish Meteorological Institute. For almost the entirety of the June to August period, mean daily temperatures were below the corresponding daily temperatures over the past half century during which the Centre has maintained records.

The cold progress of this past Arctic summer can be seen in the Centre’s graph, seen here. The red line – this year’s temperatures – falls below the green bell curve starting just before Day 150 (late May) of 2010, indicating that just about every day this last summer was colder than normal. The green bell curve represents the historical record — the temperatures that the Arctic has experienced since 1958.

Of even greater significance for those concerned about a melting of the Arctic ice, however, is the graph’s blue line, which indicates the freezing point of water. When the red line appears above the blue line, temperatures are above 0 degrees and ice will melt. As the graph shows, the unseasonably cold summer gave the Arctic a short melt season in 2010. With temperatures in September now plummeting, 2010 is unlikely to log any more melt days, and the Summer of 2010 will go down in the history books as yet another year in which the Arctic did not melt.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe.

Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post, September 9, 2010

 

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