Fickle Nature: From too much hurricane to not enough ice in a few days.

Greenland Ice Top

September 16, 2017

Arctic ice cover reaches low (someone tell NASA) 

By Peter Dykstra
The Daily Climate 

September 15 marks the unofficial turning point in Arctic ice cover— the time when the ice reaches its low before firming up for the winter. 

This past year continued a trend of ice cover decline. The good news about the bad news: NASA's "Global Climate Change" webpage has a time-lapse of the stunning changes in Arctic ice cover from 1979 to 2016. 

The site shows a stark decline in ice cover in each September from 1979 to last year in time-lapse video format. The bad news about the bad news: The can't-miss website hasn’t been updated in 2017.

President Trump's belated nominee to head NASA, Oklahoma congressman Jim Bridenstine, is gung-ho on NASA's deep space mission, but decidedly hostile toward the agency's vital contributions to understanding science closer to home.

NASA's analysis of Arctic ice cover may itself be melting away.

In any event, the site— while it lasts— is an invaluable visual asset in explaining one key impact of climate change, a fact not lost on energy industries. Last month, a liquid natural gas tanker completed the Northeast Passage— the normally ice-clogged route along Siberia's Arctic coastline— without an icebreaker escort for the first time.

Oh good. Faster, cheaper delivery of a fossil fuel. This changes everything.

The Daily Climate is an independent, foundation-funded news service covering energy, the environment and climate change. Find us on Twitter @TheDailyClimate or email editor Brian Bienkowski at bbienkowski [at] EHN.org

Top photo: NASA

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