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


Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice
From research stations drifting on ice floes to high-tech aircraft radar, scientists have been tracking the depth of snow that accumulates on Arctic sea ice for almost a century.

Megascale icebergs run aground: Finding the deepest iceberg scours to date provides new insights into the Arctic's glacial past
Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), have found between Greenland and Spitsbergen the scours left behind on the sea bed by gigantic icebergs.

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean
As the climate warms and sea ice retreats, the North is changing. An ice-covered expanse now has a season of increasingly open water that is predicted to extend across the whole Arctic Ocean before the middle of this century.

Synchronization of North Atlantic, North Pacific preceded abrupt warming, end of ice age
Scientists have long been concerned that global warming may push Earth's climate system across a "tipping point," where rapid melting of ice and further warming may become irreversible -- a hotly debated scenario with an unclear picture of what this point of no return may look like.

Genetic study shows major impact of climate change on Antarctic fur seals
Genetic analysis of Antarctic fur seals, alongside decades of in-depth monitoring, has provided unique insights into the effect of climate change on a population of top-predators.

Press Release: Has Antarctic sea ice expansion been overestimated?
New research suggests that Antarctic sea ice may not be expanding as fast as previously thought. A team of scientists say much of the increase measured for Southern Hemisphere sea ice could be due to a processing error in the satellite data.

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice
As sea ice begins to melt back toward its late September minimum, it is being watched as never before.

EARTH Magazine: Parasites spread across the Arctic under the
The last several decades have seen Arctic sea-ice minimums drop by more than half in area and more than three-quarters in volume.

NASA's High-Flying Laser Altimeter to Check Out Summer Sea Ice and More
Sea ice in summer looks dramatically different than sea ice in winter, even in the polar Arctic. Summer snowmelt, pools of water on thinning ice and exposed ocean replace vast winter expanses of white snow-covered ice - and this weekend NASA's high-flying laser altimeter begins a campaign to investigate these features.

New study finds that Adélie penguin population is on the rise
A first-ever global census of Adélie penguins shows that the population is 3.79 million breeding pairs or 53 percent larger than previously estimated.
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 Hampton Sides (Author)


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. Livingstone....

Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age

Maps of the Ancient Sea Kings: Evidence of Advanced Civilization in the Ice Age
by Charles H. Hapgood (Author)


Book by Hapgood, Charles H.

Ice Axes for Frozen Seas: A Biblical Theology of Provocation

Ice Axes for Frozen Seas: A Biblical Theology of Provocation
by Walter Brueggemann (Author), Davis Hankins (Editor)


Endlessly cunning, elusive, and playful--the Bible consistently unsettles even as it assures. Walter Brueggemann reveals exactly how Scripture exposes the inadequacy of the assumptions and habits that shape our lives. He finds inside Israel's ancient poetry, prophecy, narrative, and legal covenants new words that create new peoples. In so doing this book provokes a theology of transformation--one that compels new social, economic, and political practices. Brueggemann's reading reveals that we are not fated to live a life of greed, anxiety, and violence, but instead can embrace a shared life of well-being grounded in an investment in the common good. Brueggemann shows the endless ways by which the Bible provokes new life for transformed peoples.

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...

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...

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 Elizabeth Goodman (Author), Fernando Rangel (Author)


It was there. Henry Hudson was certain of it. Beyond the impenetrable fog and crushing ice of the North Atlantic lay the dream 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, surrounded by crews that shared neither his belief nor his commitment, Henry Hudson searched again and again for what was not there. In 1611, his mutinous crew set him adrift on the freezing waters of the bay that would one day bear his name. Beyond the Sea of Ice is the story of Henry Hudson's four harrowing voyages of discovery. Bringing the skills of an experienced novelist to her first non-fiction book, author Joan Elizabeth Goodman creates an epic...

The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities

The Meaning of Ice: People and Sea Ice in Three Arctic Communities
by Shari Fox Gearheard (Editor), Lene Kielsen Holm (Editor), Henry Huntington (Editor), Joe Mello Leavitt (Editor), Andrew R. Mahoney (Editor)


The Meaning of Ice celebrates Arctic sea ice as it is seen and experienced by the Inuit, Iñupiat, and Inughuit, who for generations have lived with it and thrived on what it offers. With extensive details offered through their own drawings and writings, this book describes the great depth of Inuit, Iñupiat, and Inughuit knowledge of sea ice and the critical and complex role it plays in their relationships with their environment and with one another. Over forty Inuit, Iñupiat, and Inughuit from three different Arctic communities contributed stories, original artwork, hand-drawn illustrations, maps, family photos, and even recipes to this book. Professional and historical photographs, children’s artwork, and innovative graphics add more to the story of The Meaning of Ice.

The...

On Sea Ice

On Sea Ice
by Willy Weeks (Author)


Covering more than seven percent of the earth’s surface, sea ice is crucial to the functioning of the biosphere—and is a key component in our attempts to understand and combat climate change. With On Sea Ice, geophysicist W. F. Weeks delivers a natural history of sea ice, a fully comprehensive and up-to-date account of our knowledge of its creation, change, and function.            
The volume begins with the earliest recorded observations of sea ice, from 350 BC, but the majority of its information is drawn from the period after 1950, when detailed study of sea ice became widespread. Weeks delves into both micro-level characteristics—internal structure, component properties, and phase relations—and the macro-level nature of sea ice, such as salinity, growth, and...

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)

A Storm of Swords (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 3)
by George R.R. Martin (Author)


Of the five contenders for power, one is dead, another in disfavor, and still the wars rage as violently as ever, as alliances are made and broken. Joffrey, of House Lannister, sits on the Iron Throne, the uneasy ruler of the land of the Seven Kingdoms. His most bitter rival, Lord Stannis, stands defeated and disgraced, the victim of the jealous sorceress who holds him in her evil thrall. But young Robb, of House Stark, still rules the North from the fortress of Riverrun. Robb plots against his despised Lannister enemies, even as they hold his sister hostage at King’s Landing, the seat of the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, making her way across a blood-drenched continent is the exiled queen, Daenerys, mistress of the only three dragons still left in the world. . . .

But as opposing...

© 2014 BrightSurf.com