Research Team Puts Sensors to Track Melting of Arctic Ice

Research Team Puts Sensors to Track Melting of Arctic Ice

International Research team led by researchers from the University of Washington has setup sensors under the ice in the Beaufort Sea, to track the melting of ice in the region.

The ice melts during the summer and continues till September to reach its lowest cover. The U.S. Office of Naval Research has funded the project to analyze the impact of weather on the ice cover in the region.

Principal investigator Craig Lee, an oceanographer at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory said, “We’re really trying to resolve the physics over the course of an entire melt season.”

The research team includes members from Naval Research Laboratory, Cambridge University, Yale University, Laboratoire d’Oceanographie de Villefranche, France, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, the British Antarctic Survey and the Korean Polar Research Institute.

In previous research projects, scientists have suggested that the ice sheet also faces large impact of the waves which hit the shores. As the waves hit the ice sheet with high amount of energy, they cause further breaking of ice sheets. The broken pieces of ice start moving towards the water, increasing the impact further.

The sensors will be able to measure different factors relating to atmosphere, ocean and ice sheets in the region. The research team will keep a close watch on the marginal ice zone. Marginal ice zone is the region between the open water and the solid ice.

Research teams from different Universities across the world are also monitoring the ice sheets with help of satellite images.

Image: Researchers set up short-term camps on the ice while they deployed the four main groups of instruments.
Image Courtesy: M. Ohmart, University of Washington.

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