A newly posted Yale Forum video explores the summer of 2012 record-low Arctic sea ice coverage and provides strong visuals showing the loss of older ice coverage.


A new video produced by independent videographer Peter Sinclair for The Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media explains what expert scientists now find to be the lowest extent of Arctic sea ice in recorded history.

The shrinking of the Polar ice cap — providing protection much like a “giant parasol” — presents us “a big problem, a real problem, and it’s happening now, it’s not happening generations from now,” Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis cautions.

“There’s really nothing like what we’ve seen happen this year,” according to Francis. She calls the loss of sea ice in 2012 “just such a stunning example of how the climate system is changing right before our very eyes … something anybody can see, you don’t have to be a scientist.”

Other experts featured in the six-minute video are scientists Julienne Stroeve of the National Snow and Ice Data Center, Michael MacCracken of the Climate Institute, and Admiral David Titley, retired chief oceanographer of the U.S. Navy and now with NOAA. They advise that along with being mindful of the decreasing area of Arctic ice coverage, it’s important to keep in mind also the thinning of that ice.

“I would almost argue that we might be entering a new climate state,” says Stroeve.

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