Arctic Ice in 2017 – Normal

A little excursion to check on the progress of the Arctic ice, the Northern Hemisphere Total Ice from the U.S. National Ice Center,  The chart below shows the results, with the blue shaded area the maximum and minimum range for the past 10 years.  The 10-year average is the black dotted line.  The results for 2017 are shown in the blue solid line.    The black circle (added) shows the latest data for mid-July.   (link to the graph, which is updated regularly.)

We are right on the average, and have been so since the first of May.

What has this to do with chemical engineering?   Radiant heat transfer, and insulation, for starters.  Taking note of the data at the far left, from March 1 to about May 1, shows the 2017 data was slightly below the ten-year average.   Is that cause for alarm, is the Earth overheating and the ice melting away?    No.

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The reduced amount of ice typically leaves  open seawater, that loses heat to space in the dark winter.  Ice acts as an insulator, preventing or reducing the rate of heat transfer.  To the extent there is open water, heat is radiating from the water into deep space.

There are other data that show no warming.  These will be addressed in future posts.


Roger Sowell

copyright 2017 by Roger Sowell, all rights reserved