News / Science & Technology

Arctic Sea-Ice Volume Continues to Decline

Sea ice floats within Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, undated handout photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Sea ice floats within Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, undated handout photo from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Related Articles

Experts Sure Global Warming Manmade, But Predictions Elusive

Report says pinpointing local impacts in coming decades is harder than anticipated

Audio Slideshow Antarctica Shows Unprecedented Ecological Change

Researchers discover increased vegetation growth rates on northwest coast of Alexander Island on the Antarctic Peninsula

Extreme Weather Linked to Climate Change

Report finds human-caused change was contributing factor to about half of the extreme events studied
VOA News
The thickness of Arctic sea ice continues to decline, according to the European Space Agency (ESA)

The conclusion is based on three consecutive years of measurements by ESA’s CryoSat satellite mission. Scientists often measure another factor, sea-ice extent, but ice thickness, the agency says, is a “more accurate” measure of the changes taking place at the top of the world.

Professor Andrew Shephers of the University of Leeds in England told an audience at the Living Planet Symposium in Edinburgh, Scotland Wednesday that CryoSat “continues to provide clear evidence of diminishing Arctic sea ice.”

“From the satellite’s measurements, we can see that some parts of the ice pack ice have thinned more rapidly than others, but there has been a decrease in the volume of winter and summer ice over the past three years”, he said. “The volume of the sea ice at the end of last winter was less than 15,000 cubic kilometers, which is lower than any other year going into summer and indicates less winter growth than usual.”

While it seems unlikely that a record minimum of sea-ice extent will be set this September, the thinner ice at the start of summer could mean that the actual volume of ice may reach a new low, according to ESA.

“Readings from CryoSat in October, when the ice starts to refreeze, will confirm this either way,” said Rachel Tilling, doctoral student at University College London, who is working with the CryoSat data.

CryoSat is also delivering important results on land ice formation. Recently, it provided evidence of a huge flood under the Antarctic ice sheet. New measurements combined with older data from NASA’s ICESat mapped a large crater that formed as the overlying ice sank to fill the gap left by lake water that drained away.

The map revealed that about six cubic kilometers of water had escaped from under the ice, probably straight into the ocean, between 2007 and 2008.

CryoSat is expected to continue providing data until 2017.

Watch an animation showing the variations in ice thickness over time:

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Honeybee Blaze Frolics from: Pittsburgh Pennsylvania
September 17, 2013 7:26 PM
Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low in 2012, and second place was in 2007. http://clmtr.lt/cb/xqh0bWP check out climate reality project dot org and learn more about CO 2 emissions and the dangers of air, land, water pollution! I just turn 53 years old and I never dreamed in my life-time I would witness such drastic global climate changes...but feel that after the nuclear accident in 1986 Chernobyl had played a role in the catastrophic side affects of nuclear meltdown!


by: drLenin from: USA
September 17, 2013 5:04 PM
If the pace of sea ice loss keeps up, the Arctic could be nearly ice-free in summer in just a few decades. http://clmtr.lt/cb/xqh0cze


by: Bruce from: Canada
September 16, 2013 2:10 PM
Antarctic Sea Ice just set an all-time record for most ice.


by: ReduceGHGs from: Oregon
September 13, 2013 11:32 AM
The biosphere is experiencing a nearly global warm up and meltdown. There's no credible doubt, we are the cause. Changing the ways we generate and use energy is the only rational option. Contact your reps in Congress. Insist they work harder to reduce global emissions. Our future generations are at risk.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid