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The department of atmospheric sciences at the University of Illinois  has kept daily records on polar ice for the past thirty years. Arctic summer ice extent is read by variable oceanic and atmospheric currents such as the Arctic Oscillation. The ice grows during the winter and then recedes in the summer as the tilt of the earth brings the arctic and antarctic closer and further away from the sun. This is shown below in the graph as a scattered line instead of a smooth line, over a thirty year period as the ice receeds and grows over a 1 year period. There is an interactive site called Cryosphere Today What is important to note is the correlation between the Arctic and the Antarctic sea ice anomaly’s.

Here is the northern hemisphere showing the lowest point, on record, in the tail end of 2007.

Now, here is the southern hemisphere and if you will notice, 3 weeks later in 2007 when the Arctic ice reaches its lowest level on record, the ice in the Antarctic reached its highest level on record. (Note: mid-1980 the antarctic reached its lowest level and has since been gradually rising on average)

You can also view animations of global polar ice for every day since 1979. If you are on an iPhone, you can view the cryosphere animations and tools HERE.


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  1. […] We decided to check with the University of Illinois, who has kept daily records of Polar ice since 1979 and offers an animation of the global ice together as a whole.. You can view this here. No other weather bureau of organization does this. As a summary, the arctic ice reached a record low amount in September of 07′ (the news media went crazy) however 3 weeks later, the Antarctic ice levels reached their highest amount ever recorded (the media went silent). An easy view of the graphs can be seen in our blog post here […]

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