Scientists: After cool 2013 Arctic ice “grew by a third”

According to satellite data 2013 was a relatively cool year and resulted in an increase in sea ice that will last for two years. BBC reports that the short-lived growth in Arctic sea ice will offset ice losses experienced the previous three years and confirms scientist’s hypothesis that the ice is more resilient to global warming that originally thought. Researchers with Great Britain’s University College in London (UCL) published their findings in the journal Nature Geosciences.

Between autumn 2010 and 2012, there was a 14% reduction in Arctic sea ice volume, in keeping with the long-term decline in extent, the scientists wrote. However, we observe 33% and 25% more ice in autumn 2013 and 2014, respectively, relative to the 2010–2012 seasonal mean, which offset earlier losses.

Since the late 1970’s Arctic sea levels have declined almost 40 percent. Scientists have warned that weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere could be drastically impacted from a melting Arctic. Other researchers think that a warming Arctic results in unprecedented winter weather.

Scientists also warned that the Arctic sea ice levels hit their lowest maximum ever that resulted in researchers concluding that there was an all out Arctic death spiral occurring. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) also weighed in stating that over the next 25 summers the Arctic would be ice-free.

But after a relatively cool summer, the UCL manuscript states that sea ice volume rebounded moderately. Now the study’s satellite data empowers scientists to not only be more precise in measuring Not only ice thickness but also observe how its being affected by Arctic changes. While in 2012 there was extremely low sea ice intensity and volume, but today there is much more sea ice volume and, best of all, its thicker.

However, UCL scientist and lead author Rachel Tilling released a statement cautioning that this research is not a forecast of of long-term melting Arctic ice. This allowed thick sea ice to persist northwest of Greenland because there were fewer days when it could melt. Although models have suggested that the volume of Arctic sea ice is in long-term decline, we know now that it can recover by a significant amount if the melting season is cut short, she said.

Based on the 1981 to 2010 average, the National Snow and Ice Data Center states Arctic sea ice quantity for this year is tracking at normal levels despite getting off to a rough start and is within the standard deviation for the past 30 years.