CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Arctic

Did you know… the difference between sea-ice area and sea-ice extent?

Did you know…  the difference between sea-ice area and sea-ice extent?

At the beginning of March, just over a month ago, sea ice in the Arctic reached its annual maximum extent. As currently all media attention is focused on other news, you might have missed that, once again, this maximum fell below the 1981 to 2010 average maximum extent. When reading headlines about such sea-ice facts, you may have been confused by the seemingly interchangeable use of “sea-ice exte ...[Read More]

Trapped in the sea ice – Educating the future generations of polar scientists

In October 2019, the research icebreaker ‘Polarstern’ was moored to an ice floe for its year-long journey through the Arctic Ocean. Come with us on a slightly shorter journey and learn how MOSAiC participants from the supporting cruise educate the future generation of polar scientists! What is the MOSAiC expedition? The MOSAiC (Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate ...[Read More]

Climate Change & Cryosphere – The tropical fingerprint in Arctic climate

Climate Change & Cryosphere – The tropical fingerprint in Arctic climate

We know that climate change is being felt worldwide, but it is especially prominent in the Arctic, where temperatures are warming twice as fast as anywhere else on the planet. This especially sensitive environment, whose icy, snow-covered land and sea is so important in the global climate system, is really starting to feel the heat. But where is this heat coming from? In this blog post, we will ex ...[Read More]

Climate Change & Cryosphere – Summer 2019: The year that the Arctic was sunburned

June, July and August 2019 saw extensive heat waves across Europe, with air temperatures reaching above 40°C in many countries. In response, record breaking ice melt was observed in Greenland and wildfires in Siberia, Alaska, Arctic Canada and Greenland occurred. A particularly dry and warm summer was responsible for hemisphere-wide changes to the cryosphere. In this week’s post, we will review so ...[Read More]

Climate Change & Cryosphere – Why is the Arctic sea-ice cover retreating?

Climate Change & Cryosphere – Why is the Arctic sea-ice cover retreating?

The Arctic Ocean surface is darkening as its sea-ice cover is shrinking. The exact processes driving the ongoing sea-ice loss are far from being totally understood. In this post, we will investigate the different causes of the recent retreat of the Arctic sea-ice cover, using the most updated literature… Arctic sea ice is disappearing Due to its geographical position centered around the Nort ...[Read More]

Did you know? – Storms can make Arctic sea ice disappear even faster

Did you know? – Storms can make Arctic sea ice disappear even faster

The increase in air and water temperature due to climate change drives the retreat in the Arctic sea-ice cover. During summer, when sunlight reaches the Arctic, the absorption of heat by the dark ocean water enhances the sea-ice melt through the ice-albedo feedback. During winter, when sunlight does not reach the Arctic, another feedback is at work, as storms enhance the energy transfer between ai ...[Read More]

Ice-hot news: The cryosphere and the 1.5°C target

Ice-hot news: The cryosphere and the 1.5°C target

Every year again, the Conference of Parties takes place, an event where politicians and activists from all over the world meet for two weeks to discuss further actions concerning climate change. In the context the COP24, which started this Monday in Katowice (Poland), let’s revisit an important decision made three years ago, during the COP21 in Paris, and its consequences for the state of the cryo ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – Promoting interdisciplinary science in the Arctic: what is IASC?

Image of the Week –  Promoting interdisciplinary science in the Arctic: what is IASC?

The Arctic is one of the fastest changing regions on the Earth, where climate change impacts are felt both earlier and more strongly than elsewhere in the world. As an integral part of the Earth system, the Arctic is shaped by global processes, and in turn, Arctic processes influence the living conditions of hundreds of millions of people at lower latitudes. No one country or community can underst ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – On thin [Arctic sea] ice

Perhaps the most enduring and important signal of a warming climate has been that the minimum Arctic sea ice extent, occurring each year in September, has declined precipitously. Over the last 40 years, most of the Arctic sea ice has thus been transformed to first-year ice that freezes in the winter and melts in the summer.            Concern about sea ice extent and area is valid: since sea ice i ...[Read More]

Image of the Week – The 2018 Arctic summer sea ice season (a.k.a. how bad was it this year?)

With the equinox this Sunday, it is officially the end of summer in the Northern hemisphere and in particular the end of the melt season in the Arctic. These last years, it has typically been the time to write bad news about record low sea ice and the continuation of the dramatic decreasing trend (see this post on this blog). So, how bad has the 2018 melt season been for the Arctic?   Yes, the 201 ...[Read More]