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 In times of climate change: What a lake’s colour can tell about its condition
21.09.2017 | Leibniz-Institut für Gewässerökologie und Binnenfischerei (IGB)

nachricht Did marine sponges trigger the ‘Cambrian explosion’ through ‘ecosystem engineering’?
21.09.2017 | Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam - Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum GFZ

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>