17 April 2015
Although Arctic sea ice set a record this year for its lowest ever winter extent, it was on average 25cm thicker than in 2013 when CryoSat recorded its lowest winter volume.
The latest measurements also show that sea ice around Svalbard, 1300 miles from the North Pole, is today only a metre thick – approximately half what it was in the winter of 2011 just after CryoSat was launched. The thinner ice around Svalbard coincides with a warming of the surrounding Barents Sea.
We’ve already seen the impact of this change in ocean conditions on the Svalbard’s Austfonna ice cap where glaciers have speeded up at an unprecidented rate, and the rapid retreat of sea ice in this sector of the Arctic is almost certainly down to the same thing.
See the full results on the CryoSat Operational Monitoring Website.