Satellite detects slower growth of Arctic ice

Arctic sea ice by 2016. Image: Courtesy of NASA

Satellite CryoSat from ESA detected that Arctic ice volume on November 2016 were the lowest and similar to records from the same month in 2011 and 2012. The ice has increased by only 10%, a low figure, for the beginning of the winter season.

CryoSat calculates surface height variation of ice with extreme precision thanks to tools like the radar altimeter that allow accurate documentation of changes in volume.

This information is fundamental to follow up weather variations and also provide information to maritime operators navigating in Polar Regions’ icy waters.  

However the satellite also provided positive findings like a thicker ice at the end of the summer compared to previous years, meaning that there was more ice this year than in 2011.

Thicker ice is the result of lower melting or higher snowfall or ice compaction.

There is less ice in southern regions like Beaufort, East Siberian and Kara Seas, even though sea ice in the central Arctic is thicker than it was in 2011.

CryoSat has become a vital source of information for weather prediction services and scientists studying the effects of climate change because there is a higher demand for data on Arctic conditions.

The complete results of 2016 sea ice conditions will be published in the nearest future by the UK’s Center for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM). For more information please click here

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