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Arctic sea-ice extent remains extremely low

6 November 2018
“This year, the autumnal rebound in the size of sea-ice cover has been a very slow process; as a result, we’re still at a very low level. Possible causes include the continued warm
atmospheric temperatures during the past several weeks, and the residual heat stored in the ocean,” explains Professor Christian Haas, head of the sea-ice physics section at the AWI. Read more here...

Summer sea-ice extent still retreating – minimum in sight

13 September 2018
“We are approaching this year’s minimum sea-ice extent in the Arctic, and this summer the ice concentration has descreased to its lowest value since observations started, in 1979,” according to Professor Christian Haas, Head of the Sea Ice Physics Section at the AWI. The absolute minimum will probably be 4,4 ± 0.1 million km2. “Due to uncertainties resulting from the different analysis methods, there can be slight discrepencies between the values from different data centres.” Read more here…

AWI ice thickness measurements shed light on the causes of the low ice concentration northeast of Greenland

30 August 2018
The ice north of Greenland is particularly thick, several years old and is mainly formed on the Russian continental shelf. The Transpolar Drift – which acts like a transarctic conveyor belt – transports the sea ice over a few years to the coast of Greenland. Here, the landward drift compresses the pack ice, creating the compact ice cover typical for the region. The following explains which processes are responsible for the formation of ice-free zones north of Greenland in summer, and why the ice concentration was particularly low this year. Read more here…

Arctic sea-ice extent rapidly approaching its summertime minimum

22 August 2018
After the sea-ice extent in the Arctic showed a moderate loss, hovering in the lower portion of the double standard deviation range from the long-term average with in the first half of July, the retreat significantly accelerated in the second half of the month. In terms of the monthly average, July 2018 was characterised by a higher sea-ice extent than last year in the Pacific sector (Chukchi Sea and East Siberian Sea), but a significantly lower extent in the Atlantic sector. More here…

AWI team reaches the North Pole

16 August 2018
It may come as a surprise, but due to this year’s ice conditions, the Swedish icebreaker Oden had serious difficulties penetrating to the North Pole. The Oden first hit the edge of the ice at 82 °N. “We’re very curious to see how the dense ice in the region has affected the ice thickness and the algae livening in the ice,” reports Christian Katlein from on board the icebreaker. More here…

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