Science News

One Minute Video Shows 25 Years of Arctic Sea Ice Melt

Since the 1980s, the amount of perennial ice in the Arctic has declined. This animation tracks the relative amount of ice of different ages from 1987 through early November 2015. The oldest ice is white; the youngest (seasonal) ice is dark blue. Key patterns are the export of ice from the Arctic through Fram Strait and the melting of old ice as it passes through the warm waters of the Beaufort Sea. In 1985, 20% of the Arctic ice pack was very old ice, but in March 2015, old ice only constituted 3% of the ice pack.

 

Animation by NOAA Climate.gov team, based on research data provided by Mark Tschudi, CCAR, University of Colorado. Sea ice age is estimated by tracking of ice parcels using satellite imagery and drifting ocean buoys.

References:

Charctic Interactive Sea Ice Graph. National Snow and Ice Data Center. Accessed December 9, 2015.

Perovich, D., W. Meier, M. Tschudi, S. Farrell, S. Gerland, and S. Hendricks. (2015). Chapter 4: Sea Ice. In Jeffries, M.O., Richter-Menge, J., Overland, J.E. (2015) Arctic Report Card: Update for 2015.

See the video here.

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