Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scientist Sees Arctic Ice Loss Firsthand

28.08.2012
The extent of sea ice in the Arctic has reached a record low, according to data released Aug. 26 by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).

A University of Delaware marine scientist can confirm some of that ice loss firsthand. In a short video he filmed, Andreas Muenchow, aboard the Canadian icebreaker Henry Larsen, shows the ice-free sea off Petermann Fjord that he and his colleagues were sailing in — an area that for ages had been covered by floating ice shelves.


Photo courtesy of Andreas Muenchow, University of Delaware, and Canadian Coast Guard Ship Henry Larsen

Aerial view of the ice island that broke off Petermann Glacier on July 16, 2012.

“But no more,” notes Muenchow in the video. He and his research team from UD were working in Nares Strait, between Greenland and Canada, to recover an ocean and sea ice observing array they had moored there in 2009 as part of his National Science Foundation research project.

“What we see in Nares Strait is some of the hardest and thickest ice leaving the Arctic where some of it is replaced by much thinner ice that has not been hardened by many sequential freeze/melt cycles,” Muenchow says. “The harder thicker ice is called ‘multi-year’ ice, distinct from first-year ice, and the slow disappearance of this multi-year ice from northern Canada and Greenland is one major factor causing the ice extent to become steadily smaller over the last 40 years or so. Most climate models predicted this scenario, but we are 30 to 40 years ahead of the predicted schedule with regard to the ice cover in the Arctic.”

According to NSIDC, the extent of Arctic sea ice on August 13 was 5.09 million square kilometers (1.97 million square miles). That figure is 2.69 million square kilometers (1.04 million square miles) below the 1979 to 2000 average extent for the date, and 483,000 square kilometers (186,000 square miles) below the previous record low for the date, which occurred in 2007.

During his Arctic research mission, Muenchow observed firsthand Petermann Glacier and the giant ice island, twice the size of Manhattan, that broke off from the glacier on July 17, which he reported in his “Icy Seas” blog.

On Aug. 24, Muenchow blogged that a large ice island about 10 square kilometers (4 square miles) — about three times the size of Central Park — had broken off from nearby Steensby Gletscher.

The instruments recovered by Muenchow and his research team will provide data on ocean currents, temperature, salinity and ice thickness at better than hourly intervals since 2009, including the passage of the ice island equivalent to four times the size of Manhattan that broke off Petermann Glacier in 2010.

Andrea Boyle Tippett | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.udel.edu

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Early organic carbon got deep burial in mantle
25.04.2017 | Rice University

nachricht New atlas provides highest-resolution imagery of the Polar Regions seafloor
25.04.2017 | British Antarctic Survey

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Making lightweight construction suitable for series production

More and more automobile companies are focusing on body parts made of carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRP). However, manufacturing and repair costs must be further reduced in order to make CFRP more economical in use. Together with the Volkswagen AG and five other partners in the project HolQueSt 3D, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) has developed laser processes for the automatic trimming, drilling and repair of three-dimensional components.

Automated manufacturing processes are the basis for ultimately establishing the series production of CFRP components. In the project HolQueSt 3D, the LZH has...

Im Focus: Wonder material? Novel nanotube structure strengthens thin films for flexible electronics

Reflecting the structure of composites found in nature and the ancient world, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have synthesized thin carbon nanotube (CNT) textiles that exhibit both high electrical conductivity and a level of toughness that is about fifty times higher than copper films, currently used in electronics.

"The structural robustness of thin metal films has significant importance for the reliable operation of smart skin and flexible electronics including...

Im Focus: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's Fermi catches gamma-ray flashes from tropical storms

25.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers invent process to make sustainable rubber, plastics

25.04.2017 | Materials Sciences

Transfecting cells gently – the LZH presents a GNOME prototype at the Labvolution 2017

25.04.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>