Science & Technology

Arctic Melt Season is Lengthening by Several Days Each Decade

A picture mosaic of sea ice within the Canadian Basin, taken by Operation IceBridge’s Digital Mapping System on Mar. 28, 2014. Picture Credit score: Digital Mapping System/NASA Ames

A brand new research by NSIDC and NASA researchers reveals that size of the soften season for Arctic sea ice is rising by a number of days every decade.

The size of the soften season for Arctic sea ice is rising by a number of days every decade, and an earlier begin to the soften season is permitting the Arctic Ocean to soak up sufficient extra photo voltaic radiation in some locations to soften as a lot as 4 toes of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness, in line with a brand new research by Nationwide Snow and Ice Knowledge Heart (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.

“The Arctic is warming and this is inflicting the soften season to last more,” mentioned Julienne Stroeve, a senior scientist at NSIDC, Boulder and lead writer of the brand new research, which has been published in Geophysical Research Letters. “The lengthening of the soften season is permitting for extra of the solar’s power to get saved within the ocean and improve ice soften through the summer season, general weakening the ocean ice cowl.”

A brief video summarizes new findings about Arctic sea ice and warming oceans.

Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline over the past 4 many years. The ocean ice cowl is shrinking and thinning, making scientists assume an ice-free Arctic Ocean through the summer season is perhaps reached this century. The seven lowest September sea ice extents within the satellite tv for pc report have all occurred up to now seven years.

To review the evolution of sea ice soften onset and freeze-up dates from 1979 to the current day, Stroeve’s group used passive microwave information from NASA’s Nimbus-7 Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer, and the Particular Sensor Microwave/Imager and the Particular Sensor Microwave Imager and Sounder carried onboard Protection Meteorological Satellite tv for pc Program spacecraft. When ice and snow start to soften, the presence of water causes spikes within the microwave radiation that the snow grains emit, which these sensors can detect.

Outcomes present that though the soften season is lengthening at each ends, with an earlier soften onset within the spring and a later freeze-up within the fall, the predominant phenomenon extending the melting is the later begin of the freeze season. Some areas, such because the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, are freezing up between six and 11 days later per decade. Though soften onset variations are smaller, the timing of the start of the soften season has a bigger affect on the quantity of photo voltaic radiation absorbed by the ocean, as a result of its timing coincides with when the solar is greater and brighter within the Arctic sky.

Regardless of massive regional variations to start with and finish of the soften season, the Arctic soften season has lengthened on common by 5 days per decade from 1979 to 2013.

Publication: Adjustments in Arctic soften season and implications for sea ice loss,” Geophysical Analysis Letters, Quantity 41, Situation 4, pages 1216–1225, 28 February 2014; DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058951

Picture: Digital Mapping System/NASA Ames

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