Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

International polar day, 21 September 2007: Sea ice

18.09.2007
Breaking news: Large areas of the Arctic sea ice are now only one metre deep, which means the thickness of the ice has halved since 2001.

The first of a series of International Polar Days focus on the snow and ice in the Arctic and Antarctic regions. Alarming discoveries about reduced sea ice have recently been reported by scientists, and updated reports are expected over the next several weeks.

The International Polar Year 2007–2008 joins 50,000 researchers from more than 60 countries in an effort to learn more about our polar regions. This autumn, two large research programmes, DAMOCLES and SIPEX, investigate opposite poles.

DAMOCLES - investigating changes in polar snow and ice
Five research ships with scientists from 16 countries are currently in the Arctic performing groundbreaking research to better understand climate changes.

The European Union Programme DAMOCLES (Developing Arctic Modelling and Observing Capabilities for Long-term Environment Studies), which is part of the International Polar Year, is concerned with the potential for a significantly reduced sea ice cover, and the impacts this might have on the environment and human activities, both regionally and globally.

Polarstern reports: The sea ice has halved

Large areas of the Arctic sea ice are now only one metre deep, which means the thickness of the ice has halved since 2001, initial findings from the research ship Polarstern show.

Fifty scientists are on board Polarstern for two and a half months. Their main task is to investigate the sea ice in the central Arctic. I addition to thinning ice sheets, they have also discovered that ocean currents and community structures are changing.

“The ice cover in the North Polar Sea is dwindling, the ocean and the atmosphere are becoming steadily warmer and the currents are changing,” said expedition leader Dr. Ursula Schauer from the Alfred Wegener Institute.

“We are in the midst of a phase of dramatic change in the Arctic, and the International Polar Year 2007-2008 offers us a unique opportunity to study this dwindling region in collaboration with international researchers,” said Schauer who is currently in the Arctic.

The scientists have measured temperature, saltiness and currents at over one hundred locations. The primary results show that the water coming in from the Atlantic is colder than in previous years. The temperature and saltiness of the Arctic deep sea are also slowly changing. The changes are small, but involve enormous volumes of water.

The research
Oceanographers on board the ship are investigating the composition and circulation of the water masses, physical characteristics of sea ice, and transport of biological and geochemical components in sea water. They have found a particularly high concentration of melt water in the ocean and a large number of melt ponds.

Scientists will take sediments from the ocean floor in order to reconstruct the climatic history of the surrounding continents. The deposits found on the ocean floor of the North Polar Sea read like a diary of the history of climate change for the surrounding continents. Through sediment cores, the scientists may be able to unlock the key to the glaciation of northern Siberia.

Sea ice biologists from the Institute of Polar Ecology at the University of Kiel are investigating the threatened ecosystem under the ice. According to new models, the Arctic will be ice free in less than fifty years. This may cause the extinction of many organisms that are adapted to this habitat.

The tools
During the International Polar Year 2007-2008, oceanographic measuring buoys were set out for the first time. They are able to drift freely in the Arctic Ocean while collecting data on currents, temperature and saltiness of the sea water. The buoys will continously collect data and send them back to the scientists via satellite. The deployment of a new titanium measuring system will allow contamination free sample collection of trace elements from Siberian rivers.

The expedition is lead by the German research institute Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research and is supported by DAMOCLES.

Christian Bjornes | alfa
Further information:
http://www.ipy.org/index.php?/ipy/detail/sea_ice

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht PR of MCC: Carbon removal from atmosphere unavoidable for 1.5 degree target
22.05.2018 | Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change (MCC) gGmbH

nachricht Monitoring lava lake levels in Congo volcano
16.05.2018 | Seismological Society of America

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnesium magnificent for plasmonic applications

23.05.2018 | Materials Sciences

Tunable diamond string may hold key to quantum memory

23.05.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Building a brain, cell by cell: Researchers make a mini neuron network (of two)

23.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>