CU Boulder ice experts report: Arctic sea ice at lowest maximum for second consecutive year

Arctic sea ice was at a record low maximum extent for the second straight year, according to scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado Boulder and NASA. "I've never see such a warm, crazy winter in the Arctic,” said NSIDC director Mark Serreze. “The heat was relentless." Air temperatures over the Arctic Ocean for the months of December, January, and February were 2 to 6 degrees Celsius (4 to 11 degrees Fahrenheit) above average in nearly every region. Sea ice extent over the Arctic Ocean averaged 14.52 million square kilometers (5.607 million … [Read more...]

New Video Explores Arctic Sea Ice, Variability, and Climate Models

The heartbeat of the arctic impacts climate worldwide. Join Jen Kay, CU-Boulder assistant professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences fellow, to learn about the “heartbeat”— or melt cycles of the arctic — climate modeling, and climate change in the new video, Arctic Sea Ice, Variability, and Climate Models: Kay studies cloud processes, polar climate, recent and projected Arctic sea ice loss, and evaluation and improvement of climate models. In this video she briefly explains how climate models work and the important role … [Read more...]

CU-Boulder researchers find common factors behind Greenland melt episodes in 2012, 1889

New from Colorado.EDU: In 2012, temperatures at the summit of Greenland rose above freezing for the first time since 1889, raising questions about what led to the unusual melt episode. Now, a new analysis led by the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder shows that some of the same weather and climate factors were at play in both 1889 and 2012: heat waves thousands of miles upwind in North America, higher-than-average ocean surface temperatures south of Greenland and atmospheric rivers of warm, moist air that streamed toward … [Read more...]

Seasonal Arctic summer ice extent still hard to forecast, NSIDC study says

The following is an excerpt from the National Snow & Ice Data Center. Read the entire press release at http://nsidc.org/news/press/2014_seasonalseaice_PR.html. Will next year’s summer Arctic ice extent be high or low? Can ship captains plan on navigating the famed Northwest Passage—a direct shipping route from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean—to save on time and fuel? A new study says year-to-year forecasts of the Arctic’s summer ice extent are not yet reliable. Scientists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), University College London, University of New Hampshire and … [Read more...]