December 17, 2013
It was only five years ago in December that Al Gore claimed that the polar ice caps would be completely melted by now. But he might be surprised to find out that Arctic ice coverage is up 50 percent this year from 2012 levels.
“Some of the models suggest that there is a 75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during some of the summer months, could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years,” Gore said in 2008.
The North Pole is still there, and growing. BBC News reports that data from Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft shows that Arctic sea ice coverage was nearly 9,000 cubic kilometers (2,100 cubic miles) by the end of this year’s melting season, up from about 6,000 cubic kilometers (1,400 cubic miles) during the same time last year.
This came as a shock to researchers who saw Arctic sea ice coverage shrink to a documented low in 2012. However, now sea ice coverage has expanded to reach the sixth record low, according to AFP.