CryoSat reveals major loss of Arctic sea ice

13 February 2013

An international team of scientists using new measurements from ESA’s ice mission has discovered that the volume of Arctic sea ice has declined by 36% during autumn and 9% during winter between 2003 and 2012.

Satellite records show a constant downward trend in the area covered by Arctic sea ice during all seasons, but in particular in summer. The past six years have seen the lowest summer ice extent in three decades, reaching the lowest last September at about 3.61 million sq km.

A team of scientists led by University College London has now generated estimates of the sea-ice volume for the 2010–11 and 2011–12 winters over the Arctic basin using data from ESA’s CryoSat satellite.

This study has confirmed, for the first time, that the decline in sea ice coverage in the polar region has been accompanied by a substantial decline in ice volume.

The new CryoSat dataset shows the volume’s continuing decline observed from 2003 to 2008 by NASA’s ICESat satellite.

Read more: CryoSat reveals major loss of Arctic sea ice / CryoSat / Observing the Earth / Our Activities / ESA.

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