Science Current Events | Science News | Brightsurf.com
 

Arctic sea ice thinning at record rate

October 29, 2008

The thickness of sea ice in large parts of the Arctic declined by as much as 19% last winter compared to the previous five winters, according to data from ESA's Envisat satellite.

Using Envisat radar altimeter data, scientists from the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling at University College London (UCL) measured sea ice thickness over the Arctic from 2002 to 2008 and found that it had been fairly constant until the record loss of ice in the summer of 2007.

Unusually warm weather conditions were present over the Arctic in 2007, which some scientists have said explain that summer ice loss. However, this summer reached the second-lowest extent ever recorded with cooler weather conditions present.

Dr Katharine Giles of UCL, who led the study, said: "This summer's low ice extent doesn't seem to have been driven by warm weather, so the question is, was last winter's thinning behind it?"

The research, reported in Geophysical Research Letters, showed that last winter the average thickness of sea ice over the whole Arctic fell by 26 cm (10%) compared with the average thickness of the previous five winters, but sea ice in the western Arctic lost around 49 cm of thickness.

Giles said the extent of sea ice in the Arctic is down to a number of factors, including warm temperatures, currents and wind, making it important to know how ice thickness is changing as well as the extent of the ice.

"As the Arctic ice pack is constantly moving, conventional methods can only provide sparse and intermittent measurements of ice thickness from which it is difficult to tell whether the changes are local or across the whole Arctic," Giles said.

"Satellites provide the only means to determine trends and a consistent and wide area basis. Envisat altimeter data have provided the critical third dimension to the satellite images which have already revealed a dramatic decrease in the area of ice covered in the Arctic."

The team, including Dr Seymour Laxon and Andy Ridout, was the first to measure ice thickness throughout the Arctic winter, from October to March, over more than half of the Arctic.

"We will continue to use Envisat to monitor the evolution of ice thickness through this winter to see whether this downward trend will continue," Laxon said. "Next year we will have an even better tool to measure ice thickness in the shape of ESA's CryoSat-2 mission which will provide higher resolution data and with almost complete coverage to the pole."

Related links

• University College London (http://www.ucl.ac.uk)
• Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) (http://www.cpom.org/)
• Geophysical Research Letters (http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/)
• National Centre for Earth Observation (http://www.nceo.ac.uk/)
• UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) (http://www.nerc.ac.uk/)

European Space Agency


Related Sea Ice Current Events and Sea Ice News Articles


Shifting bird distribution indicates a changing Arctic
Shifts in the distribution of Spectacled Eiders, a predatory bird at the top of the Bering Sea's benthic food web, indicate possible changes in the Arctic's marine ecosystem, according to new research in The Condor: Ornithological Applications.

Arctic Ocean methane does not reach the atmosphere
250 methane flares release the climate gas methane from the seabed and into the Arctic Ocean.

Deep, old water explains why Antarctic Ocean hasn't warmed
The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places to experience human-driven climate change.

Will more snow over Antarctica offset rising seas? Don't count on it
Many factors related to warming will conspire to raise the planet's oceans over coming decades -- thermal expansion of the world's oceans, melting of snow and ice worldwide, and the collapse of massive ice sheets.

Retreat of the ice followed by millennia of methane release
Scientists have calculated that the present day ice sheets keep vast amounts of climate gas methane in check.

Influence of sea-ice loss on Arctic warming is shaped by temperatures in the Pacific Ocean
Influence of sea-ice loss on Arctic warming is shaped by varying temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, new study shows

2016 Arctic sea ice wintertime extent hits another record low
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached a record low wintertime maximum extent for the second year in a row, according to scientists at the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA.

Longer-term weather and environmental forecasts will provide enormous benefit
Weather and environmental forecasts made several weeks to months in advance can someday be as widely used and essential as current predictions of tomorrow's weather are, but first more research and sustained investment are needed, says a new report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.

Climate change: Greenland melting tied to shrinking Arctic sea ice
Vanishing Arctic sea ice. Dogged weather systems over Greenland. Far-flung surface ice melting on the massive island.

'Ice age blob' of warm ocean water discovered south of Greenland
New research published in Scientific Reports in February indicates that a warm ocean surface water prevailed during the last ice age, sandwiched between two major ice sheets just south of Greenland.
More Sea Ice Current Events and Sea Ice News Articles

Sea Ice

Sea Ice
by David N. Thomas (Editor), Gerhard S. Dieckmann (Editor)


As the Arctic perennial sea ice continues to disappear at an alarming rate, a full understanding of sea ice as a crucial global ecosystem, and the effects of its loss is vital for all those working with and studying global climate change. Building on the success of the previous edition, the second edition of Sea Ice, now much expanded and in full colour throughout, includes six completely new chapters with complete revisions of all the chapters included from the first edition. The Editors, Professor David Thomas and Dr Gerhard Dieckmann have once again drawn together an extremely impressive group of internationally respected contributing authors, ensuring a comprehensive worldwide coverage of this incredibly important topic. Sea  Ice, second edition, is an essential purchase for...

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette
by Anchor


New York Times bestselling author Hampton Sides returns with a white-knuckle tale of polar exploration and survival in the Gilded Age

In the late nineteenth century, people were obsessed by one of the last unmapped areas of the globe: the North Pole. No one knew what existed beyond the fortress of ice rimming the northern oceans, although theories abounded. The foremost cartographer in the world, a German named August Petermann, believed that warm currents sustained a verdant island at the top of the world. National glory would fall to whoever could plant his flag upon its shores.

James Gordon Bennett, the eccentric and stupendously wealthy owner of The New York Herald, had recently captured the world's attention by dispatching Stanley to Africa to find Dr....

Beyond the Sea of Ice: The First Americans, Book 1

Beyond the Sea of Ice: The First Americans, Book 1
by William Sarabande (Author)


Stunningly visual, extraordinarily detailed, powerfully dramatic, here is the first volume of a remarkable new series . . .The First Americans.  When humans first walked the world, when nature ruled the earth and sky, a proud tribe is threatened by a series of natural disasters.  A bold young hunter named Torka, who lost his wife and child to a killer mammoth, leads the survivors over the glacial tundra on a desperate eastward odyssey to the save their clan.  Through attacks of savage animals and encounters with strangers not unlike themselves, they must brave the hardships of a foreign landscape and learn to live in an exotic new world of mystery and danger.  Toward the land where the sun rises they must travel.Beyond The Sea Of Ice,  toward a new day for their clan--and an...

The Field of Ice Part II of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras

The Field of Ice Part II of the Adventures of Captain Hatteras


This book was converted from its physical edition to the digital format by a community of volunteers. You may find it for free on the web. Purchase of the Kindle edition includes wireless delivery.

Beyond the Sea of Ice: The Voyages of Henry Hudson (Great Explorers)

Beyond the Sea of Ice: The Voyages of Henry Hudson (Great Explorers)
by Joan Goodman (Author), Fernando Rangel (Illustrator)


"Where Goodman's book shines is the foldout maps and diagrams of the voyages and in the journal entries by Hudson and members of his crew ... When the next group of students with an assignment on explorers descends on the library, have this useful and attractive resource on hand."
--School Library Journal Beyond the Sea of Ice: The Voyages of Henry Hudson takes readers into a land of impenetrable fog and crushing ice, a mysterious place where lie the dreams of kings, merchants and learned geographers--a passage to the Orient. Sailing small wooden boats well above the Arctic Circle, guided by maps and charts that were based on rumor and hope as much as fact, and surrounded by crews that shared neither his belief nor his commitment, Henry Hudson searched again and again for...

A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic

A Farewell to Ice: A Report from the Arctic
by Allen Lane


Most of the scientific establishment predict that the North Pole will be free of ice around the middle of this century. As Peter Wadhams, the world's leading expert on sea ice, demonstrates in this book, even this bleak assessment of the future is grossly optimistic. Wadhams has visited the Polar Regions more often than any other living scientist - 50 times since he was on the first ship to circumnavigate the Americas in 1970 - and has a uniquely authoritative perspective on the changes they have undergone and where those changes will lead. From his observations and the latest scientific research, he describes how dramatically sea ice has diminished over the past three decades, to the point at which, by the time this book is published, the Arctic may be free of ice for the first time in...

Sea of Stone (FIRE & ICE)

Sea of Stone (FIRE & ICE)
by Michael Ridpath (Author)


Can Magnus prove he is innocent of murder without implicating his brother? And can both men get to the heart of the twisted secrets that blighted their childhoods? Oli and Magnus Jonson have spent years trying to escape from the shadows of their past. Raised by their grandparents in Bjarnarhöfn, a remote farmstead in Iceland, both brothers had to endure brutal violence at the hands of their grandfather. Now, two decades later, the past has returned to haunt them. When Constable Páll Gylfason gets a dispatch call to investigate a suspected homicide in a remote farmstead, he is surprised to find that Detective Jonson is already at the scene. Magnus identifies the dead man as his estranged grandfather. As Páll begins to review the crime scene it becomes apparent that forensic evidence...

Sea Ice

Sea Ice
by David N. Thomas (Author)


As sea ice at the polar regions continues to disappear at an increasingly alarming rate, a full understanding of sea ice as a crucial global ecosystem, and the effects of its loss, is vital for all those working with and studying global climate change. Building on the success of the two previous editions of this book, this 3rd edition of Sea Ice, much expanded and in full color throughout, includes 12 new chapters, with complete revisions of all those chapters included from the 2nd Edition. New chapters include cutting-edge coverage of a range of immensely important subjects including sea ice chemistry, sea ice and ice-air-ocean fluxes, contaminants in sea ice, and the interactions between higher trophics and humans, in Arctic and Antarctic ecosystems. The Editor, David Thomas, has once...

Along the Infinite Sea

Along the Infinite Sea
by Beatriz Williams (Author)


An epic story of star-crossed lovers in pre-war Europe collides with a woman on the run in the swinging '60s, in another riveting novel of the Schuyler sisters from the New York Times bestselling author of Tiny Little Thing.

In the autumn of 1966, Pepper Schuyler's problems are in a class of their own. To find a way to take care of herself and the baby she carries—the result of an affair with a married, legendary politician—she fixes up a beautiful and rare vintage Mercedes and sells it at auction. 

But the car's new owner, the glamorous Annabelle Dommerich, has her own secrets: a Nazi husband, a Jewish lover, a flight from Europe, and a love so profound it transcends decades. As the many threads of Annabelle's life before the Second World War stretch out to entangle...

The Lands of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones): Maps from King's Landing to Across the Narrow Sea

The Lands of Ice and Fire (A Game of Thrones): Maps from King's Landing to Across the Narrow Sea
by George R. R. Martin (Author)


The adventure that began with A Game of Thrones comes to life in twelve separate full-color maps, stunningly illustrated and ideal for framing. The perfect gift for fans everywhere, this is the definitive dragon’s-eye view they’ve been dying to see.
 
George R. R. Martin’s beloved series is bursting with a variety and richness of landscapes—from bitter tundra to arid wasteland and everything in between—that provide a sense of scale unrivaled in contemporary fantasy. Now this dazzling set of maps, featuring original artwork from illustrator and cartographer Jonathan Roberts, transforms Martin’s epic saga into a world as fully realized as the one around us.
 
The centerpiece of this gorgeous collection is guaranteed to be a must-have for any fan: the complete...

© 2016 BrightSurf.com