Sea ice is a crucial part of the freshwater balance of the Arctic Ocean. It’s relatively easy to use satellites to figure out where it is; it’s much harder to determine how thick it is. The figure above illustrates an exciting new effort to do this, using a radar on a European satellite, ERS-2. You can see that there’s no data north of about 82°N: too bad for the Switchyard! But that’s ok: a new satellite, Cryosat, will measure as far north as 88°N starting later in 2005.
We are also investigating sea ice drift patterns (see Data & Graphics page) to determine where sea ice is moving in the Switchyard region.
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