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Posted Thu Jul 9 2009: from Bloomberg News:
Arctic Ocean's Ice Layer Thins 'Dramatically,' Study Concludes
The layer of ice over the Arctic Ocean has thinned "dramatically" this decade, with its thin seasonal blanket for the first time making up a bigger portion of the total ice than the thicker, older coat, a study said. Scientists from NASA and the University of Washington in Seattle surveyed the ocean's ice sheet from 2003 through 2008 using observations from the Ice, Cloud and Land Elevation Satellite, or ICESat, to make the first estimate of its thickness and volume.... The researchers found that the Arctic Ocean's ice layer thinned by about 2.2 feet over four winters, or about 7 inches a year, while the area covered by older, thicker ice shrank by about 42 percent, or 595,000 square miles -- almost the land area of Alaska. In 2003, 62 percent of the ocean's ice cover was older, thicker ice, with 38 percent in seasonal layers, the researchers found. Five years later, 68 percent of the ice cap was made up of seasonal ice.
[Read more stories about: faster than expected, albedo effect, arctic meltdown]

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'Doc Michael says:
Good thing that it's natural variation, and that we're not responsible. What a coincidence that unprecedented change is happening at this time in history!

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