During the last 10.000 years the North Pole ice cover has been even smaller than it is today. PHOTO BY SVEN FUNDER, UNIVERSITY OF COPENHAGEN.
Tracing the age and origin of driftwood in northern Greenland enables scientists to estimate sea ice extent before accurate satellite measurements began
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Tracking chunks of ancient driftwood as their main clues, a team of Danish researchers is unraveling some of the mysteries of the Arctic icepack.
The Polar region is the subject of intense day-to-day scrutiny by climate researchers, who are trying to understand what will happen to the sea ice as the Earth warms, and what the implications might be for ocean currents and global weather patterns.
One thing is clear — summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been far from constant during the past 10,000 years. For big slice of that time, between 8,000 and 5,000 years ago, there was much less — by half — ice than now. The new study, to be published in the Journal Science, suggests that there was only half as much ice during that relatively warm period, known as the Holocene Climate Optimum.
The new study shows that, as ice disappears from one region, it may build up somewhere else, probably as a result of shifting wind patterns. That wind factor hasn’t been completely accounted for in most current studies on the loss of sea ice, the researchers said. Continue reading
Filed under: climate and weather, Environment, global warming | Tagged: Arctic Ocean, Arctic sea ice, climate change, Environment, global warming, Polar ice packs, Polar region, sea ice extent, Summit County News, University of Copenhagen | 3 Comments »