Despite Al Gore’s prediction seven years ago that the polar ice cap would be completely melted by now, it is actually larger than it was in 2012, Mail Online reports.
“The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,” Gore said in 2007 when he was accepting the Nobel Peace Prize for his climate change efforts. “It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.”
But, the Mail reports, the ice cap has actually expanded by between 43 and 63 percent. An area the size of Alaska that was navigable water two years ago now is covered by ice.
Over the long term, the ice cap is continuing to shrink, according to figures from the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. But as of August 25, 3.5 million square miles of the Arctic Ocean was covered with at least 15 percent ice cover – the highest since 2006.
The ice also is growing thicker, making it less likely to melt, according to data from the University of Illinois’s Cryosphere project.
“It is clear from the measurements we have collected that the Arctic sea ice has experienced a significant recovery in thickness over the past year,” Leeds University Professor Andrew Shepherd told the Mail.
“The Arctic sea ice spiral of death seems to have reversed,” added
Judith Curry, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.