This picture, which was taken in 2004 just off Alaska by a marine biologist on a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute project, Amanda Byrd  You have to keep in mind that the bears aren’t in danger at all. It was, if you will, their playground for 15 minutes. You know what I mean? This is a perfect picture for climate change, in a way, because you have the impression they are in the middle of the ocean and they are going to die with a coke in their hands. But they were not that far from the coast, and it was possible for them to swim.”(they can swim 30 miles).

And here is the satellite sounder derived image showing sea ice extent as of Saturday, Feb 2nd 2008 (right) compared to Feb 2nd, 1980 (left). The color key shows the concentration of sea ice, with deep purple being the most solid ice and reds, yellows. blues showing areas of thinning ice or seawater/ice mix:

Click for a full sized image. Note that the 1980 photo does not show snow cover (in white) as the technology then wasn’t able to resolve it as it does today.



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