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Arctic ice development in 2013

New data about the arctic ice loss in 2013: A danish report gives new figures about the ice loss from the Greenland inland ice and sea ice in the Arctic Ocean. According to the report, ice loss was significant in 2013, but slightly less dramatic than in 2012 both for land and sea ice.

The contribution of the Greenland inland ice to global sea level rise in 2013 is 1.2 mm. The time frame considered is from October 2012 to September 2013, to include one winter and one summer season (glaciological year). This sea level rise is the value that corresponds to the total netto ice loss of 430 Gt (1 Gt = 1 Gigatonn = 1 billion tonns). The largest ice volume lost within 24 hours was on July 25, when an incredible 12 Gt either melted or broke off as iceberg! In 2012, however, the corresponding value is an even more incredible 20 Gt. The negative trend of the Greenland inland ice’s mass balance is accordingly continued in 2013, even though it is slightly less rapid than in 2012, regarding some important key figures.

The glacier movements were more or less normal in 2013. At least, no dramatic events were recorded as in 2012, when the large Petermann Glacier in western north Greenland showed some dramatically huge calving.

The trend of the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean seems to be roughly comparable. During spring, the time of the largest ice cover, there was at least more ice than during the past 5-8 years on average, but this is hardly good enough to relax considering the series of recent negative records. The ice loss continues, even if it is slightly less rapid then in the negative record year of 2012. The annual ice minimum is number six on the list of years of the smallest sea ice cover since 1979. An important reason is believed to be in the relatively calm wind conditions of the Arctic Ocean, which pushed less ice out through the Fram Strait between Greenland and Spitsbergen into the Atlantic than in previous years.

Polarportal is an information plattform run by several Danish research institutions, including DMI (the Danish Meteorological Institute) and GEUS (Danish Geological Service) to publish their results.

Glacier ice in Scoresbysund, east Greenland.

Glacier ice, east Greenland

Source: Polarportal

last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange