Arctic Sea Ice 5th smallest… and thinnest, on record.

While this years arctic sea ice picture has improved since its historic low in 2007, the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado says don’t be too excited.

Expanse is only one measure, the other, which could be of even greater importance? Thickness, and the story is not a good one.

Arctic Thickness

As you can see in the above graphic available from this months NSIDC report on Arctic Ice, the ice has been getting much younger for the better of 25 years. This years season has meant a bounce back in some 2nd year ice, which should translate into multi year ice next year, but we have a major deficit to make up.

In 1985, almost 40% of the ice in the Arctic was over 2 years old… today that is down below 10%.

There is an incredible survey taking place right now called the Catlin Arctic Survey. It is being led by 3 scientist who are trekking 1000KM over the ice pack from Northern Canada to the Geographic North Pole. As if that’s not hard enough, they’re pulling massive sledges loaded with equipment including a radar that is measure the ice and and water column as they trek.

This will be the first baseline dataset ever obtained in this manner and the results will help climate modellers around the world.

You can see an incredible array of images, blogposts, and live body telemetry here.

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