A satellite from the European Space Agency has recorded that the amount of Arctic sea ice has gone up in Canada, even though the country had the lowest winter range area of coverage in ice that has ever been recorded since the satellite began coverage in 2010.
The information comes from the CryoSat satellite adventure. Over the past five years its mission is to study the Arctic sea ice floes. These recent measurements from CryoSat show a two dimensional view of the Arctic, and by measuring the range and depth of the ice, scientists can see how the cold winds there can cause the ice to either thicken up or spread out and flow more, making them thinner.
Arctic Sea Ice Measured by Thickness and Volume
ESA CryoSat can also measure how the Arctic sea ice behaves on its adventure in the water by measuring the height of the Arctic sea ice that sits over the sea water. Then, it combines both sets of data and uses a special formula to determine the volume of the ice. The latest measurements taken in February 2015 show an average thickness in the Arctic sea ice of almost two meters, which means there is about 24,000 cubic kilometers of it in total.
Ice Amounts Thicker, In More Areas than Previous Years
This revealed that the Arctic sea ice in the area is now thicker by nearly 10 inches, which means it has gone up 17 percent from the amount discovered two years ago. For instance, in the data there was a picture that revealed that there was an area in the Beaufort Sea that is now covered with ice, whereas 8 years ago this area had no ice and showed bare groups in the photos.
The CryoSat scientific team said that despite the data from this year revealing that the Arctic sea ice is thicker, that the long term average has still been leading to there being less ice eventually, as these numbers are seen to be inconsistent over the years. They stressed that the important number is not how thick the ice is, but how much volume of Arctic sea ice exists, as that number shows how the ice is affected by climate change.
The data gleaned from the information received by CryoSat will hopefully be able to help scientists better understand how climate change affects the environment, as well as how sensitive the environment is to it. The data is also vital to shipping and other operational services that travel in the area so they can travel safely and navigate through the Arctic sea ice along their routes, as it is delivered in near real time.
For more good vibes amidst the Arctic region, watch this short video about Eric Larsen, a polar adventurer traversing the wild polar regions: