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 Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere
27.03.2017 | CAGE - Center for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Climate and Environment

nachricht Weather extremes: Humans likely influence giant airstreams
27.03.2017 | Potsdam-Institut für Klimafolgenforschung

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Giant Magnetic Fields in the Universe

Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.

The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.

Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...

Im Focus: Tracing down linear ubiquitination

Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.

Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...

Im Focus: Perovskite edges can be tuned for optoelectronic performance

Layered 2D material improves efficiency for solar cells and LEDs

In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...

Im Focus: Polymer-coated silicon nanosheets as alternative to graphene: A perfect team for nanoelectronics

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.

Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...

Im Focus: Researchers Imitate Molecular Crowding in Cells

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.

Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International Land Use Symposium ILUS 2017: Call for Abstracts and Registration open

20.03.2017 | Event News

CONNECT 2017: International congress on connective tissue

14.03.2017 | Event News

ICTM Conference: Turbine Construction between Big Data and Additive Manufacturing

07.03.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Northern oceans pumped CO2 into the atmosphere

27.03.2017 | Earth Sciences

Fingerprint' technique spots frog populations at risk from pollution

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

Big data approach to predict protein structure

27.03.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>