CR
Cryospheric Sciences

Sea-ice

End-of-the-year special: this year’s Cryoblog

End-of-the-year special: this year’s Cryoblog

So this is the last post in 2022 for our blog. We have decided that this time, the topic will not be another exciting story about the science of ice and cold in their various forms. This time we are talking about the blog itself, so a kind of meta-post to take stock and understand a little better how our blog works, what it is about, and who our main authors are. To this purpose, we asked all the ...[Read More]

Did you know the differences between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice?

Did you know the differences between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice?

If you look at the maps in Figure 1, you will quickly see that sea ice is present in both polar regions (Arctic at the top, Antarctic at the bottom). Despite this apparent similarity, some differences exist between Arctic (in the Northern Hemisphere) and Antarctic (in the Southern Hemisphere) sea ice. We provide a brief explanation of two key differences in this post. Geography The first main diff ...[Read More]

Winds and Antarctic sea-ice cover: what is the role of human activities?

Winds and Antarctic sea-ice cover: what is the role of human activities?

We may not often think about it, but climate in Antarctica can be very different depending on where we are exactly (do not expect palm trees though!). Winds play a big role in shaping these differences, which are reflected – among other things! – on sea ice. But how are these winds related to the large-scale atmospheric circulation, and are we having an impact on them? Dear readers, pl ...[Read More]

Ice-hot news: A cryo-summary of the new IPCC assessment report!

Ice-hot news: A cryo-summary of the new IPCC assessment report!

We have waited eight years for it, and it is finally out: the 6th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (a.k.a. « IPCC AR6 »)! And it is more than 10,000 pages long across Working Groups! Fortunately, a synthesis report integrating the findings of all three working groups should be released in Autumn 2022. However, we, at the EGU Cryosphere Blog, thought it might be us ...[Read More]

It’s not you, it’s me(lange): ice shelf break-up triggered by mélange and sea-ice loss

It’s not you, it’s me(lange): ice shelf break-up triggered by mélange and sea-ice loss

Between March and May 2007, a total of ~2,445 km2 (equivalent to over 17 football pitches) of ice mélange (a mixture of sea-ice types, icebergs and snow) and part of Voyeykov Ice Shelf in East Antarctica rapidly broke up. Observations of the timing and triggers of such events are relatively rare in East Antarctica, compared to ice shelves on the Antarctic Peninsula. Recent work highlights the impo ...[Read More]

Atmospheric Rivers: A blanket for Antarctic winter sea ice

Atmospheric Rivers: A blanket for Antarctic winter sea ice

The mysterious appearance and disappearance of the Weddell Polynya, a giant hole in the sea ice cover, has long puzzled scientists. Recent work reveals that the polynya is initiated and maintained by gigantic and formidable atmospheric currents: atmospheric rivers! Read on to find out more… Each year, approximately 15 million square kilometers of ice forms in the Southern Ocean around Antarctica d ...[Read More]

Lost in transl[ice]tion…

Lost in transl[ice]tion…

Three years have passed since sea-ice scientists from both climate modeling and remote sensing backgrounds met for an international workshop in Hamburg. The goal was to discuss how to further improve our understanding of sea ice and reduce uncertainties in climate models and observations (see this previous post). One suggestion was to work on observation operators. Let’s see what has happened in t ...[Read More]

The future of Arctic sea ice

The future of Arctic sea ice

The illustration above shows a sketch of the evolution of Arctic sea ice for different levels of warming and the different months of the year, based on the simple extrapolation of observations. A new study, in which I was involved, uses the latest available global climate models and shows that the Arctic Ocean could become practically ice free at the end of the summer for the first time before 205 ...[Read More]

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]