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The BBC have reported that the thickness of Arctic sea ice “plummeted” last winter, thinning by as much as 49 centimetres (1.6ft) in some regions, satellite data has revealed. A study by UK researchers showed that the ice thickness had been fairly constant for the previous five winters.

 

Courtesy BBC

Courtesy BBC

The team from University College London added that the results provided the first definitive proof that the overall volume of Arctic ice was decreasing.

The findings have been published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

“The ice thickness was fairly constant for the five winters before this, but it plummeted in the winter after the 2007 minimum,” stated Katherine Giles.

Sea ice in the Arctic shrank to its smallest size on record in September 2007, when it extended across an area of just 4.13 million sq km (1.59 million sq miles), beating the previous record low of 5.32 million sq km, measured in 2005.

 

The team from the university’s Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling – part of the UK’s National Centre for Earth Observation – found that last winter the ice had thinned by an average of 26cm (0.9ft) below the 2002-2008 winter average.

Dr Giles added that the data also showed the western Arctic experienced the greatest impact, where the ice thinned by up to 49cm (1.6ft).

Polar Ice thinning means rising sea levels and reduced reflections of the suns energy away from the planet causing increased atmospheric warming. Switch off those Air Handling Units and open the windows.

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  1. POLAR EXPLORER PEN HADOW SETS DATE FOR SCIENTIFIC SURVEY OF ARCTIC SEA ICE AS
    FEARS GROW OF IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

    Leading polar explorer Pen Hadow today confirmed the go-ahead for a major
    scientific expedition to measure the thickness of the remaining permanent Arctic
    Ocean sea ice.
    Credit: Polar Bears – Voyage Concepts Credit Martin Hartley/Catlin Arctic Survey

    This pioneering survey, which starts in February 2009, is a collaboration with leading
    scientists to help them more accurately assess the state of the
    rapidly receding Arctic sea ice in a fragile region already affected by global
    warming.

    Current estimates as to how long ice will be a year-round feature around the
    North Pole vary considerably, with scientific predictions ranging between five and
    100 years. More accurate data, measured at the surface itself, is essential if
    scientists and decision-makers are to fully anticipate the potentially devastating
    impacts of near total sea ice loss each summer on millions of people across the
    world.

    The project, to be known as the Catlin Arctic Survey, has amassed substantial
    financial backing for the £3m survey despite the gloom currently surrounding the
    world economy and has secured support from UNEP (United Nations Environment
    Programme), WWF International and the Royal patronage of HRH The Prince of
    Wales. Hadow and his technical team have developed new equipment
    specifically designed for the project, including an ice-penetrating radar and a
    data uplink system to transmit its findings to scientists direct from the ice via
    satellite.

    On completion of the scientific project, the findings will be made available to
    inform international decision-makers gathering at the United Nations Climate
    Change Conference of Parties, at Copenhagen, in 2009.
    The team of three highly-experienced explorers – Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley
    as well as Hadow – will be travelling from mid-February to late-May, taking millions
    of readings of the thickness of the floating ice over a 1200 kilometres (750 miles)
    route. They will be pulling sledges and swimming between ice-floes from their
    start-point 470 miles offshore of northern Canada to the North Geographic Pole in
    temperatures from 0°C to -50°C.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

  2. POLAR EXPLORER PEN HADOW SETS DATE FOR SCIENTIFIC SURVEY OF ARCTIC SEA ICE AS
    FEARS GROW OF IMPACT OF CLIMATE CHANGE

    Leading polar explorer Pen Hadow today confirmed the go-ahead for a major
    scientific expedition to measure the thickness of the remaining permanent Arctic
    Ocean sea ice.
    Credit: Polar Bears – Voyage Concepts Credit Martin Hartley/Catlin Arctic Survey

    This pioneering survey, which starts in February 2009, is a collaboration with leading
    scientists to help them more accurately assess the state of the
    rapidly receding Arctic sea ice in a fragile region already affected by global
    warming.

    Current estimates as to how long ice will be a year-round feature around the
    North Pole vary considerably, with scientific predictions ranging between five and
    100 years. More accurate data, measured at the surface itself, is essential if
    scientists and decision-makers are to fully anticipate the potentially devastating
    impacts of near total sea ice loss each summer on millions of people across the
    world.

    The project, to be known as the Catlin Arctic Survey, has amassed substantial
    financial backing for the £3m survey despite the gloom currently surrounding the
    world economy and has secured support from UNEP (United Nations Environment
    Programme), WWF International and the Royal patronage of HRH The Prince of
    Wales. Hadow and his technical team have developed new equipment
    specifically designed for the project, including an ice-penetrating radar and a
    data uplink system to transmit its findings to scientists direct from the ice via
    satellite.

    On completion of the scientific project, the findings will be made available to
    inform international decision-makers gathering at the United Nations Climate
    Change Conference of Parties, at Copenhagen, in 2009.
    The team of three highly-experienced explorers – Ann Daniels and Martin Hartley
    as well as Hadow – will be travelling from mid-February to late-May, taking millions
    of readings of the thickness of the floating ice over a 1200 kilometres (750 miles)
    route. They will be pulling sledges and swimming between ice-floes from their
    start-point 470 miles offshore of northern Canada to the North Geographic Pole in
    temperatures from 0°C to -50°C.

    http://www.catlinarcticsurvey.com/

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