Share

Arctic Snow Cover Rapidly Retreating

August 17, 2014

Scientists have known for a while that Arctic snow cover and sea ice are retreating, but the magnitude of problem wasn't so clear. New long-term measurements have solved that problem, and the news isn't good.

In the last 50 years, snow cover over Arctic sea ice has thinned rapidly, according to a study by NASA and the University of Washington.

The report shows that snow cover has thinned by half in some parts of the Arctic Circle, which can cause problems for the ice below.

Researchers are uncertain what effects melting snow cover will have on the environment, but they predict that less snow cover could cause the ice to melt quicker in spring.

The retreating sea ice could also have an impact on animal habitats.

Featured Blogs

Crunch Time Ahead for California Drought Relief

By Dr. Jeff Masters
February 27, 2015

Californians are watching anxiously to see if a “Miracle March” or “Awesome April” salvages the worst snowpack season on record thus far in parts of the Sierra Nevada. In many ways this winter resembles 2013-14, when the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” just offshore steered wet systems well north of California.

Devastating Drought Conditions and Annoying People

By Shaun Tanner
February 4, 2015

The drought in California has been pretty devastating and at least some of the people of California seem to be happy about it.

The RRR ‘Ridiculously Resilient Ridge’ Returns to California

By Christopher C. Burt
January 9, 2015

After a very wet first half of December hopes were high that the beginning to the end of California’s years-long drought might finally be at hand. However, virtually no rainfall has fallen across the state since December 18th and none is forecast until at least January 18th. Yet again, a month-long mid-winter dry spell has befallen the state.

Meteorological images of the year - 2014

By Stu Ostro
December 30, 2014

My 9th annual edition.

2013-14 - An Interesting Winter From A to Z

By Tom Niziol
May 15, 2014

It was a very interesting winter across a good part of the nation from the Rockies through the Plains to the Northeast. Let's break down the most significant winter storms on a month by month basis.

What the 5th IPCC Assessment Doesn't Include

By Angela Fritz
September 27, 2013

Melting permafrost has the potential to release an additional 1.5 trillion tons of carbon into the atmosphere, and could increase our global average temperature by 1.5°F in addition to our day-to-day human emissions. However, this effect is not included in the IPCC report issued Friday morning, which means the estimates of how Earth's climate will change are likely on the conservative side.