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 4,3 ± 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…

The days are getting longer, the seasonal sea-ice extent is still on the rise – the status quo of Antarctic sea ice

7 August 2018
The maximum sea-ice extent around the Antarctic continent has by no means already been reached. Nevertheless, over the past few months the area of sea ice has grown by an average of 0.1 million km2 per day, a higher rate than has been observed in the past several years. Read more about the actual Antarctic sea ice situation here...

Winter 2017/18 sea ice thickness analysis with observations from CryoSat-2

21 June 2018
CryoSat-2, a radar altimeter satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA), had its eighth birthday on April 8, 2018. Observations from CryoSat-2 add vital information on sea ice thickness to other satellite observations, such as sea ice concentration, drift and extent. Read more here about latest results from the these measurements.

Data portal expands its services for sea-ice drift

15 March 2018
‘The sea-ice drift data offers researchers the chance to more accurately investigate the loss of sea ice in the Arctic by allowing them to view not only the ice concentration and thickness, but also horizontal ice transport,’ explains Dr Hiroshi Sumata, a sea-ice physicist at the AWI and head of the project for calculating sea-ice drift uncertainties.
Read more here...

Sea-ice concentration in the Antarctic reaches its minimum

12. März 2018

While record high temperatures for winter were being measured in the Arctic and the maximum winter sea-ice extent was reached, the sea-ice extent in the Antarctic reached its summer minimum for this year. The especially low amount of Antarctic sea-ice cover this summer meant extremely favourable conditions for the research icebreaker RV Polarstern, whose route took her to the southern Weddell Sea this year.

Read more here...

Sea ice extent on record low: In the Arctic it is too warm and too wet

2 March 2018
Usually, at the North Pole the sun doesn’t rise before 20th March and it is the coldest time of the year. But this year, February was extraordinarily warm. Analyses of satellite and station data indicate that very warm air has been advected towards the Arctic, which allowed temperatures to rise until the freezing point. Read more here...