Sea Ice Might Be More Resilient Than Thought
Arctic sea ice is so sensitive to changing temperatures that a single cool summer briefly reversed the decline in the ice cap around the North Pole, says a new study released Monday.
Using new satellite data, researchers at University College London reported in Nature Geoscience on Monday that the total volume of sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere was well above average in the autumn of 2013, traditionally the end of the annual melt season, after an unusually cool summer when temperatures dropped to levels not seen since the 1990s.
“We now know it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short,” said the study’s lead author Rachel Tilling, a researcher who studies satellite observations of the Arctic. “The sea ice might be a little more resilient than we thought.”
Miss Tilling and her colleagues used new data from the European Space Agency’s Cryosat-2 radar satellite, launched in 2010. For the first time, they measured changes in the overall volume of seasonal sea ice across the Arctic and Greenland. Until now, researchers have been able to track the extent of ice, but not its thickness.
In 2013, summer temperatures were about 5% cooler than the previous year and the volume of autumn ice jumped 41%, they said.
Les glaces du pôle Nord plus résilientes qu’on le croyait… Voilà qui contraste avec ce que déclaraient des scientifiques canadiens en 2007, ceux-ci avaient annoncé que l’Arctique serait libre de glace en 2015.
On nous disait pourtant que le débat était clos et que la science était définitive…