Arctic sea ice melting fast: study
Arctic sea ice melted 50 percent faster than the average rate during May 2010, studies have suggested.world Updated: Jun 17, 2010 21:59 IST
Arctic sea ice melted 50 percent faster than the average rate during May 2010, with combined global land and ocean surface temperature being the warmest on record for the period from January-May, studies have suggested.
Research at the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has shown that the combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for the period from January-May.
During May 2010, Arctic sea ice melted 50 percent faster than the average May melting rate, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre.
Northern Hemisphere snow cover extent during May 2010 was a record low at 4.3 million square kilometres below the long-term average. North America and Eurasia both had record-low snow extents for the month.
Warm temperatures were present over most of the globe's land areas. The warmest temperature anomalies occurred in eastern North America, eastern Brazil, Eastern Europe, southern Asia, eastern Russia, and equatorial Africa.
The Chinese province of Yunnan had its warmest May since 1951. Numerous locations in Ontario, Canada had their warmest May on record. The combined global land and ocean surface temperature for May was the warmest on record, at 0.69°C above the 20th century average of 14.8°C.
The combined global land and ocean average surface temperature for the March-May season was 14.4°C, which is the warmest such period on record and 0.73°C above the 20th century average of 13.7°C.
The global land surface temperature for May was 1.04°C above the 20th century average of 11.1°C — the warmest on record. The worldwide land surface temperature for March-May was 2.20°F 1.22°C above the 20th century average of 8.1°C— the warmest on record.
Arctic sea ice covered an average of 5.06 million square miles (13.1 million square kilometres) during May. This is 3.7 percent below the 1979-2000 average extent and the ninth-smallest May footprint since records began in 1979.
Antarctic sea ice extent in May was 7.3 percent above the 1979-2000 average, resulting in the fourth largest May extent on record.
Northern hemisphere March-May snow cover extent was fourth smallest on record, while the North American (including Greenland) snow cover extent for spring (March-May) 2010 was the smallest on record.
Cool conditions were present across western North America, northern Argentina, interior Asia, and Western Europe. Germany had its coolest May since 1991 and its 12th coolest May on record.