Climate Change

Measuring sea ice through thick and thin

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Science  18 Jul 2014:
Vol. 345, Issue 6194, pp. 281
DOI: 10.1126/science.345.6194.281-f

Sea ice in the Arctic's Fram Straight is only half as thick as it was a decade ago, Renner and colleagues report. Measuring ice both at the surface and from the air with an instrument towed below a helicopter, they found that the ice in that region thinned by more than 50% between 2003 and 2012. The patterns of variability that they see most likely are caused by thinning occurring more broadly across the Arctic, rather than being just a regional effect. These observations are consistent with the contemporaneous reduction of the area covered by sea ice that has occurred in the Arctic and should help provide a better understanding of both the magnitude and the causes of the loss.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2014GL060369 (2014).

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