CryoSat’s ‘roof’ is formed from solar panels rigidly fixed to the satellite body, designed to provide adequate power under all orbital conditions for this non-Sun synchronous satellite.

CryoSat-2 mission reveals major Arctic sea-ice loss

13 February 2013, by Tamera Jones

Arctic sea ice volume has declined by 36 per cent in the autumn and 9 per cent in the winter between 2003 and 2012, a UK-led team of scientists has discovered.

Researchers used new data from the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite spanning 2010 to 2012, and data from NASA’s ICESat satellite from 2003 to 2008 to estimate the volume of sea ice in the Arctic.

They found that from 2003 to 2008, autumn volumes of ice averaged 11,900 cubic kilometres. But from 2010 to 2012, the average volume had dropped to 7600 cubic kilometres – a decline of 4300. The average ice volume in the winter from 2003 to 2008 was 16,300 cubic kilometres, dropping to 14,800 cubic kilometres between 2010 and 2012 – a difference of 1500.

‘The data reveals that thick sea ice has disappeared from a region to the north of Greenland, the Canadian Archipelago, and to the northeast of Svalbard,’ says Dr Katharine Giles, a NERC-funded research fellow at the Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) at UCL (University College London), who co-authored the report, recently published online in Geophysical Research Letters.

Read more: CryoSat-2 mission reveals major Arctic sea-ice loss — Planet Earth Online.

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