August/September 2014

ARISE Investigates Effects of Sea Ice Loss On Arctic Climate

A new NASA field campaign flew over the Arctic this summer to study the effect of sea ice retreat on Arctic climate. The Arctic Radiation IceBridge Sea and Ice Experiment (ARISE) conducted research flights Aug. 28 through Oct. 1, covering the peak of summer sea ice melt. This was NASA’s first Arctic airborne campaign designed to take simultaneous measurements of ice, clouds and the levels of incoming and outgoing radiation, the balance of which determines the degree of climate warming.

»To learn more about ARISE, read this press release.

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum Continues Below-Average Trend

The 2014 Arctic sea ice minimum, reached on Sept. 17, is the sixth lowest on the satellite record. Over the 2014 summer, Arctic sea ice melted back from its maximum extent reached in March to a coverage area of 5.02 million square kilometers, according to analysis from NASA and National Snow and Ice Data Center scientists. This year’s minimum extent is similar to last year’s and below the 1981-2010 average of 6.22 million square km.

This year’s Arctic sea ice minimum is the 35th in the uninterrupted sea ice record that started with the launch of NASA’s Nimbus 7 satellite in November 1978. Check out this story on how a group of Goddard scientists developed the techniques to study sea ice from space.

» More on the 2014 Arctic sea ice minimum

Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Maximum

Sea ice surrounding Antarctica reached a new record high extent this year, covering more of the southern oceans than it has since scientists began a long-term satellite record to map sea ice extent in the late 1970s. The upward trend in the Antarctic, however, is only about a third of the magnitude of the rapid loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean.

»Learn more about the 2014 Antarctic sea ice maximum