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Satellite confirms controversial analysis of Arctic sea-ice volume; major ice loss revealed

Ross Cronkrite | Science Recorder | February 13, 2013

Satellite confirms controversial analysis of Arctic sea-ice volume; major ice loss revealed

ESA satellite observations confirm UW analysis of Arctic sea-ice volume.

New observations from a European Space Agency satellite confirm a University of Washington analysis of Arctic sea-ice volume. The findings reveal that the Arctic has lost more than a third of summer sea-ice volume since a decade ago, when a U.S. satellite gathered similar data. Merging the UW analysis and the new ESA satellite observations reveals the summer minimum in Arctic sea ice is one-fifth of what it was in 1980.

According to the UW’s Polar Science Center, sea ice volume is a key climate indicator. However, Arctic sea ice volume cannot currently be observed continuously. Observations from a variety of sources, including satellites and submarines, are all limited in space and time. The UW model enables scientists to estimate sea ice volume changes on a continuous basis by combining observations from a variety of sources.

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