UW Today

sea ice


March 3, 2015

On thin ice: Combined Arctic ice observations show decades of loss

submarine poking through ice and people disembarking

Historic submarine and modern satellite records show that ice thickness in the central Arctic Ocean dropped by 65 percent from 1975 to 2012. September ice thickness, when the ice cover is at a minimum, dropped by 85 percent.


August 13, 2014

Snow has thinned on Arctic sea ice

person walking on snow

Historic observations and NASA airborne data provide a decades-long record showing that the snowpack on Arctic sea ice is thinning.


July 29, 2014

Huge waves measured for first time in Arctic Ocean

water and ice

The first measurements of waves in the middle of the Arctic Ocean recorded house-sized waves during a September 2012 storm. More sensors are going out this summer to study waves in newly ice-free Arctic waters.


July 16, 2014

Tracking the breakup of Arctic summer sea ice

person on ice

An international team has placed sensors on and under Arctic sea ice to monitor this season’s retreat. Scientists hope to understand the physics of the ice edge in order to predict summer conditions in the Arctic Ocean.


September 17, 2013

Stronger winds explain puzzling growth of sea ice in Antarctica

sea ice

Despite warming temperatures, Antarctic sea ice is on track to hit a record high. A new study suggests stronger polar winds can explain the recent increase in Southern Hemisphere sea ice.


August 1, 2013

Scientists review the ecological effects of sea ice loss

caribou

A UW atmospheric scientist is co-author of a review paper, published this week in the journal Science, looking at the ecological consequences of sea ice decline.


July 30, 2013

Santa’s workshop not flooded – but lots of melting in the Arctic

pool of water

Widespread media reports of a lake at the North Pole don’t hold water — but scientists who deployed the monitoring buoys are watching closely as Arctic sea ice approaches its yearly minimum.


February 13, 2013

European satellite confirms UW numbers: Arctic Ocean is on thin ice

Chuchki Sea ice

New satellite observations confirm a University of Washington analysis that for the past three years found accelerated declines in the volume of Arctic sea ice.


January 31, 2013

Cyclone did not cause 2012 record low for Arctic sea ice

Satellite image of Arctic cyclone

A huge Arctic cyclone in August was not responsible for the historic minimum seen soon after in Arctic sea-ice extent.


November 29, 2012

International study provides more solid measure of shrinking in polar ice sheets

Channel through glacier

Climatologists have reconciled their measurements of ice loss in Antarctica and Greenland during the past two decades. A second article looks at how to monitor and understand accelerating losses from the planet’s two largest continental ice sheets.


October 2, 2012

UW scientists team with Coast Guard to explore ice-free Arctic Ocean — with slideshow

first year ice

UW scientists are teaming with the U.S. Coast Guard to study the new frontier in the Arctic Ocean opened up with the melting ice.


September 17, 2012

Shrinking snow depth on Arctic sea ice threatens ringed seal habitat

a ringed seal looks out from its snow cave

Scientists found that the habitat required for ringed seals — animals under consideration for the threatened species list — to rear their young will drastically shrink this century.


August 14, 2012

How do they do it? Predictions are in for Arctic sea ice low point

Sea ice levels 620px Crop

University of Washington researchers used some new techniques this year in hopes of improving the accuracy of their annual prediction of the low point of Arctic sea ice.