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
TEXT SIZE - +
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

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends More

Turkish Law Gives Spy Agency Controversial Powers

Parliament approves legislation to bolster powers of intelligence service, which government claims is necessary to modernize and deal with new threats Turkey faces More

Video Face of American Farmer Changing

Average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population 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.
Face of American Farmer is Changingi
X
Mike Osborne
April 18, 2014
The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid