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      August 20: Arctic Update

      Sea ice area in the arctic is up significantly over last which was the record low of the satellite era.

      There has been a lot of interest in the arctic recently due to record-low ice extent. The first record low of the satellite era (which began in 1979) was in 2007. Then last year, the ice extent went even lower. After the big melt in 2007, some scientists were warning of an ice-free arctic by 2013. That prediction failed. Arctic sea ice is up significantly from last year (Image 1 above).

      One of the reasons for less melt is the temperature. The Danish Meteorological Institute has followed arctic temperature since 1958. This year is the coldest summer on record (Image 2). Since May, there has not been a day where the temperature went above the long-term normal. Here is the link where you can compare temperatures to this year. At the present time, all the reporting buoys on the ice have temperatures at or below freezing. Even land areas have felt the chill. Grise Fiord on Elsmere Island in Canada had the countryâ??s first snow of the season this past weekend.

      This level of cold will not be felt here. It will remain bound up over the arctic for the time being. For us, the warm and humid spell could end with a bang over parts of the U.P. Wednesday as a fairly strong cool front sweeps through. This cool down looks temporary, however. It appears that more warmth and humidity will build as this upcoming weekend wears on.