sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Video Gallery Photo Gallery

 

Sail-World.com : North Sea Passage more and more accessible - sea ice record reached

North Sea Passage more and more accessible - sea ice record reached

'Arctic Sea Ice graph'    .    Click Here to view large photo

Global warming could mean that the North West Passage, so recently a hostile challenge to the cruising sailor, soon becomes a viable alternative to transit the Americas. Sea Ice has reached a record all time low as reported here by Dr Georg Heygster, translating from the German from a press release from University of Bremen.

The Arctic sea ice extent index calculated by a University of Bremen research team led by Dr. Georg Heygster reached a new historical low point of 4.24 million km2 on September 8.

The previous one-day minimum was 4.27 million km2 on September 17, 2007. The usual melt season is not yet over, however, so 2011 extent could decline further.


Physicists of the University of Bremen now confirm the apprehension existing since July 2011 that the ice melt in the Arctic could further proceed and even exceed the previous historic minimum of 2007. It seems to be clear that this is a further consequence of the man-made global warming with global consequences. Directly, the livehood of small animals, algae, fishes and mammals like polar bears and seals is more and more reduced.

The work group of Georg Heygster at the University of Bremen observes since many years the the sea ice at both poles. With the support of the ESA/GMES project Polar View, daily maps of the sea ice extent are publicly provided at http://www.iup.uni-bremen.de/seaice/amsr/. The retreat of the summerly sea ice since 1972 amount to 50%. For algae and small animals living at the lower side of the ice, less and less living environment remains since they need a certain time to settle there. They are at the beginning of the food chain for fishes, mammals and also man.

Arctic Sea Ice, September 10, 2011 -  .. .  
The extent of the Arctic sea ice shows a pronounced yearly cycle, with about 15 million km2 in March and five million km2 in September. In 2007 however, it was only 4.267 million km2, the previous smallest value since start of satellite observations in 1972, and most probably since the last climate optimum about 8000 years ago. The current value is 27,000 km2 or 0.6% lower and could even be undercut in the next weeks.

The ice maps of the University of Bremen show also that in this year, the Northwest and Northeast passages are simultaneously ice free. This had happed for the first time in 2008, and in 2009 the German shipping company Beluga has traveled it commercially for the first time. Recently, it was crossed in the record time of 8 days only by a tanker, traveling from Huston, Texas to Map Ta Phut, Thailand.

Already in July the new record minimum had been expected because in this month the sea ice extent was minimum, compared with the same month in other years. Due to the high sun elevation and long days in July, the sea ice extent in this period is climatologically more important than that of September. The increased insolation into the open water heat it up, leading to an additional sea ice melt from the bottom and delays formation of new ice in autumn.

Moreover, the sea ice retreat can no more be explained with the natural variability from one year to the next, caused e.g. by weather influence. Climate models show rather, that the reduction is related to the man-made global warming which, due to the ice albedo effect, is particular pronounced in the Arctic: an ice area melted by a small temperature increase will then as open water have a much darker surface, absorb more solar radiation as before which causes an additional heating.

In contrast to the minimum in September, the yearly maximum in March decreases less: despite the reduced in in summer, in winter large areas of the arctic ocean freeze up. However, this first-year ice is clearly thinner than multiyear ice having survived one summer. Therefore, in summer first-year ice melts much easier than multiyear ice and after a historic minimum, the ice cover needs even in an unchanged climate several year to fully recover. Observation of the last years show further, that the sea ice thickness reduces, so that the total mass of Arctic sea ice decreases even more drastically than the sea ice extent.

The daily sea ice maps of the University of Bremen are based on observations of the Japanese microwave sensor AMSR-E, in orbit on board the NASA spacecraft Aqua.

The institute receives the data from two servers in the US and Japan and produces the maps based on these observations.




by Peter Sinclair/Sail-World Cruising

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=88318

6:06 AM Sun 11 Sep 2011 GMT






Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Environment and the ocean

Related News Stories:

27 Nov 2013  World Oceans Day appeals for funds
16 Nov 2013  Gigantic iceberg sails north from the Antarctic
09 Nov 2013  Sailing and swimming with manatees - Oceans Watch Essay
01 Nov 2013  OceansWatch: cruising sailors give something back in the South Pacific
23 Oct 2013  'The Ocean is Broken' - without fish, there can be no birds
13 Oct 2013  PlanetSolar reaches Paris after successful ocean study
02 Oct 2013  Monaco Yacht Show goes Green
07 Sep 2013  Great Pacific Garbage Patch - the real story
03 Sep 2013  World's largest solar yacht drops anchor after marine science quest
25 Aug 2013  Boat owners: cover vessels to deter seagulls
MORE STORIES ...

News - USA and the World

Rolex China Sea Race 2014 - nip and tuck for IRC honours by RHKYC and Guy Nowell, Sail-World Asia, Hong Kong


America's Cup Book Review: Winging It - Oracle Team USA's comeback *Feature by Richard Gladwell Sail-World.com/nz,


























HUD Vision: An interview with Afterguard Marine’s Alex Moret *Feature by David Schmidt, Sail-World USA Editor, Seattle














America's Cup: Expected de Ridder penalty should be reduced *Feature by Richard Gladwell/Sail-World.com/nz, Auckland, NZ
















Congressional Cup - Victory for Taylor Canfield and crew by Rich Roberts (As Amended by ISAF),




2014 Halifax – Saint-Pierre Ocean Race by Patricia Nelder, Nova Scotia




WWA Pro Card Qualifier - Pro Cards earned at Freedom Wake Park
Christmas Caribbean Rally - Top class sailors to compete
Earth Day boater tips
Anna Tunnicliffe - from CrossFit to Extreme 40's
Charleston Race Week - Photos by Chris Howell
Image Gallery: Stratis SL33 flies on the Waitemata
Audi Melges 20- Sperry Topsider Charleston Race Week - Light final day
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - PSP Logistics prepares for USA
ISAF Sailing World Cup Hyères - Crème of the crop to compete
Congressional Cup: Luna Rossa makes podium in first event
Int 14 World Championships 2015 launch new event website
International Optimist Regatta Clinic and Team Race - Register now!
Congressional Cup: World top rankers finish that way in Long Beach
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week Day 3 finale
America's Cup: Gino Morrelli outlines the new AC62 design
Doyle Sails New Zealand signs Andrew Brown as One Design Manager
America's Cup: Dean Barker's Blog - A sail with the Duke and Duchess *Feature
29er World Youth Sailing Week Easter regatta - Day 1 and 2 overall
C Thomas Clagett Jr Memorial Clinic/Regatta - Entries start to roll in
50th Congressional Cup: See the delayed coverage and media conferences
Clipper Race 10 Day 27: Closing stages - Qingdao to San Francisco   
Canfield, Williams, Bruni, Swinton in Congressional Cup final four   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week - Day 2   
Audi Melges 20 Charleston Race Week - Perfect conditions in Charleston   
Oyster Regatta Antigua - Full on ocean conditions for day 3   
PWA World Tour - A taste of things to come at La Torche + Video   
Women's International Match Racing Series kicks off in June   
Melges 32 Audi Tron Sailing Series - Action shots by Max Ranchi   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Frustrating conditions   
Man rescued after falling overboard in Pacific taken to hospital   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Youth leading Melges 20   
Congressional Cup - Canfield leads toward Congressional Cup sailoffs   
Sperry Top-Sider Charleston Race Week 2014 - Perfection for Day 1   
America's Cup: Coutts claims ISAF Jury on a crusade, backs Kiwi report *Feature   
Clipper Round the World Yacht Race - Will light winds hamper progress?   
Les Voiles de St. Barth - Preparing to rock Saint Barthélemy waters   
Clipper Round the World Race - OneDLL and Qingdao now in San Francisco   
America's Cup: Emirates Team NZ up against funding hurdle for year *Feature   
Melges 32 Sailing Series Napoli - Day 1 images by Stefano Gattini   
50th Congressional Cup: View the Live racing here   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
X6XL NEW US