arctic sea ice

They are particularly common in Antarctica, where katabatic winds blowing off the continent force the ice at the coast away from shore, leaving the ocean surface ice-free and open to further ice growth. Explore current and archived sea ice data on the NSIDC Sea Ice Index Web site. Predictions of when the first "ice free" Arctic summer might occur vary. Read their blog ... Icelights: Answers to your burning questions about ice and climate. ( While there are an estimated 15 to 30 years until the Arctic begins experiencing ice-free summers, these (and other) environmental research efforts cannot wait that long. Oceans Across the World: Fact or Fiction? By contrast, the ice edge in the Kara and Barents Seas remained relatively stable until the end of the month when it started to expand, and within the Laptev Sea the ice edge retreated slightly. The median is the middle value; that is, half of the extents were larger than the line, and half were smaller. Melting sea ice rich in algae may also be important for seeding phytoplankton blooms in the previously ice-covered ocean. Shipping Responds to Arctic Ice Decline . Figure 8: Color-coded animation displaying the last 2 weeks of the daily sea ice concentrations in the Southern Hemisphere. This graph shows the average monthly Arctic sea ice extent each September since 1979, derived from satellite observations. The Atlantic Ocean has the world’s deepest water. © 2019, National Snow and Ice Data Center :: Advancing knowledge of Earth's frozen regions. These image pairs show the average concentration of Arctic sea ice for the month of September (left) and the following March (right) from September 1990 to March 2020. The 2019 to 2020 winter AO was at a record or near record positive phase (Figure 5). On Thin Ice:Expedition to a Crumbling Ice Shelf. A significant loss of sea ice and permafrost has the potential to upset the dynamics of current and future Earth processes. The average draft increases from about 1 m (about 3 feet) near the Eurasian coast to 6–8 m (about 20–26 feet) along the coasts of north Greenland and the Canadian Arctic islands, where the ice is heavily ridged. We provide an update during the first week of each month, or more frequently as conditions warrant. All icy areas pictured here have an ice concentration of at least 15 percent (the minimum at which space-based measurements give a reliable measure), and cover a total area that scientists refer to as the “ice extent.”. The same warming that is opening summertime Arctic waters is also eating away at the ice sheets covering Arctic lands in Canada and Greenland. The plots and color-coded maps are chosen to provide information about the current state of the sea ice cover and how the most current daily data available compare with the record lows and record highs for the same date during the satellite era. Figure 5: 10-year averages between 1979 and 2018 and yearly averages for 2012, 2014, and 2020 of the daily (a) ice extent and (b) ice area in the Southern Hemisphere and a listing of the extent and area of the current, historical mean, minimum, and maximum values in km2. Natural variability and rising global temperatures have worked together to melt greater amounts of Arctic sea ice. Submarine sonar data obtained since 1958 have revealed that the average ice draft in the Arctic Ocean in the 1990s decreased by over 1 m (about 3 feet) and that ice volume was 40 percent lower than during the period 1958–76. As August started, the pace of ice loss slowed and by the end of the month, total Arctic sea ice extent went from the lowest to the second lowest in the satellite record. It melts just as dramatically each summer, reaching its … Since then, remote sensing data have indicated an increase in Antarctic sea ice extent parallel to the decrease in Arctic sea ice extent through the 1980s and ’90s. Consequently, they are sometimes referred to as “ice factories.”. As the Arctic sea ice vanishes, it leaves patches of dark water open. Algae are found at the top, bottom, and interior of Antarctic sea ice; however, they are found primarily at the bottom of Arctic sea ice, where they can occur as strands many metres in length. Morison notes that the winter AO has been generally positive over the past 30 years, particularly so over the last 10 years. The different shades of gray over land indicate the land elevation with the lightest gray being the highest elevation. 2016. Research Professor of Geophysics, University of Alaska Fairbanks. Arctic sea ice supports the resilience of permafrost, which impacts multiple climate pathways. Figure 1. Assessing the ice age just before this birthday gives an indication of the health of the ice at the end of the melt season. Get a weekly rundown of the Arctic’s top stories by subscribing to the Institute’s newsletter: The Arctic This Week. A collaborative network of scientists and stakeholders to advance research on sea ice prediction and communicate sea ice knowledge and tools. Multiyear ice is common in the Arctic, where most of it occurs as pack ice in the Arctic Ocean. Overall, sea ice extent decreased 750,000 square kilometers (290,000 square miles) between March 5 and March 31, with 590,000 square kilometers (228,000 square miles) of this decrease occurring betwe… Models that include the LIG support the prediction that the Arctic will experience ice-free summers by 2035. Sea Ice Index data.Credit: National Snow and Ice Data CenterHigh-resolution image, Figure 2b. Polynyas are recurrent features that remain partially or totally ice-free in areas normally expected to be covered with sea ice. Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans, 103(C5), 10419-10435. doi:10.1029/98JC00580. Frost smoke, open water, and new and young sea ice at a small lead surrounded by pack ice and icebergs in the Bellingshausen Sea, Antarctica. The sea ice estimates from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, NASA’s archive for sea ice data, assume that this hole is ice-filled. Their website includes an interactive data graph, which charts the yearly and monthly variance of Arctic sea ice in million square kilometers. The phenology of Arctic Ocean surface warming, Journal of Geophysical Research Oceans, 121, 6847– 6861. doi:10.1002/2016JC012089. Flight Center, NASA Earth Observatory (2019, September 27), NASA Earth Observatory (2016, November 4), NASA Earth Observatory (2016, September 16), NASA Earth Observatory (2012, September 27). High pressure also developed throughout the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, Greenland, and Scandinavia. Reporting by Cassandra Garrison in Buenos Aires and Natalie Thomas in the Arctic Circle; Editing by Katy Daigle and Lisa Shumaker. 2019 Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Is Second Lowest. Figure 3. If permafrost thaws and there is an increase in summer precipitation, ions and molecules may be displaced from the soil and transported by runoff. Ice formation and removal can be almost continuous in coastal polynyas. THIS SITE USES COOKIES TO IMPROVE YOUR USER EXPERIENCE. Climate and Environment, Commentary, Natural Resources and Energy, Permafrost thaw weakens land and creates many pond-like formations in Arctic landscape, like in Hudson Bay, Canada. As seawater freezes and ice forms, liquid brine and air are trapped within a matrix of pure ice crystals. Sea ice undergoes large seasonal changes in extent as the ocean freezes and the ice cover expands in the autumn and winter, followed by a period of melting and retreat in the spring and summer. Privacy Policy. With these ecosystem changes, there is impact to predatory fish feeding dynamics, along with greater impacts to large animal and human consumers. Though they only make up about 25 percent of the total ice area in both polar regions, approximately 40–60 percent of the total ice mass is contained within pressure ridges. Read about the data. It has been a focus of attention in recent years, largely because of a strong decrease in the Arctic sea ice cover and modeling results that indicate that global warming could be amplified in the Arctic on account of ice-albedo feedback. Retrieved here. A study at the University of Oxford determined that past permafrost thaws correlated to time periods with ice-free summers. Ice draft is a measurement of the ice thickness below the waterline and often serves as a close proxy for total ice thickness. Ridges at the ice surface act as sails and catch the wind. The extents in km2 for the current and for the years of minimum and maximum extents are provided below the image. Workshop on observing, modeling, and understanding the circulation of the Arctic Ocean and Sub-Arctic Seas. As is typical this time of year, there are wide swings caused by winds and storms along the extensive ice edge. September Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of 13.1 percent per decade, relative to the 1981 to 2010 average. Sea ice algae are important as a concentrated food source for krill and other zooplankton. Whaling records suggest that Antarctic sea ice extent decreased by approximately 25 percent between the mid-1950s and early 1970s, whereas ice core samples suggest a 20 percent decrease in sea ice extent since 1950. Figure 6: Color-coded map of the daily sea ice concentration in the Southern Hemisphere for the indicated recent date along with the contours of the 15% edge during the years with the least extent of ice (in red) and the greatest extent of ice (in yellow) during the period from November 1978 to the present. Yellows and reds indicate high air pressure; blues and purples indicate low pressure.Credit: NSIDC courtesy NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Physical Sciences Division High-resolution image, Figure 4d. Note that the ice age product does not include ice in the Canadian Archipelago. Layers of frozen seawater cap the Arctic Ocean. Figure 2a. Normal Topic Hot Topic (More than 15 replies) Very Hot Topic (More than 25 … Sea Ice Index data. What's hot in the news around climate and sea ice and what are scientists talking about now? As the ice drifts, it often breaks apart, and open water appears within fractures and leads. By mid-July, Arctic sea ice extent was tracking at record lows over the period of satellite observations, fueled by the early ice retreat along the Russian coast. Also in the high latitudes, a combination of warming waters, decreased sea ice, and changes in ocean salinity and circulation is likely to lead…. Permafrost thaw impacts a variety of Arctic systems, including, but not limited to ecosystem balance and the release of greenhouse gases. Moderator: oren. Pressure ridge in multiyear sea ice thrust up against the northernmost coast of Ellesmere Island, Queen Elizabeth Islands, Canada. Exchange for Local Observations and Knowledge of the Arctic (ELOKA), NASA Distributed Active Archive Center at NSIDC (NSIDC DAAC), All About Arctic Climatology & Meteorology, Tschudi et al., EASE-Grid Sea Ice Age, Version 3, Sea Ice Index (Passive microwave satellite data), MASIE (Daily sea ice extent, multi-source). This included the eastern Arctic, where both the ice concentration and the duration of the ice-covered season also decreased. Whereas platelet ice has been found frozen into pack ice floes, it is most common in fast ice such as the type found in McMurdo Sound. Graphs of sea-ice extent in the Laptev Sea, which usually show a healthy seasonal pulse, appear to have flat-lined. Understanding the relationship between sea ice and permafrost may provide key information to better evaluate the dynamics of each individually.

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