Esa’s Cryosat sees Arctic sea-ice volume bounce back

Esa’s Cryosat sees Arctic sea-ice volume bounce back

The bounce back in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic this summer was reflected also in the volume of ice.

Data from Europe’s Cryosat spacecraft suggests there were almost 9,000 cu km of ice at the end of this year’s melt season.

This is close to 50% more than in the corresponding period in 2012.

It is a rare piece of good news for a region that has witnessed a rapid decline in both area cover and thickness in recent years.

But scientists caution against reading too much into one year’s “recovery”.

“Although the recovery of Arctic sea ice is certainly welcome news, it has to be considered against the backdrop of changes that have occurred over the last few decades,” said Prof Andy Shepherd of University College London, UK.

“It’s estimated that there were around 20,000 cu km of Arctic sea ice each October in the early 1980s, and so today’s minimum still ranks among the lowest of the past 30 years,” he told BBC News.

Cryosat is the European Space Agency’s (Esa) dedicated polar monitoring platform.

It has a sophisticated radar system that allows scientists to work out the thickness of the ice floes covering the Arctic Ocean.

In the three years following its launch, the spacecraft saw a steady decline in autumn ice volume, with a record low of 6,000 cubic km being recorded in late October 2012.

But after a sharply colder summer this year, the autumn volume number has gone up.

Measurements taken in the same three weeks in October found the floes to contain just shy of 9,000 cu km.

http://dailycaller.com/2013/12/16/global-warming-satellite-data-shows-arctic-sea-ice-coverage-up-50-percent/

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