Working out sea ice changes

Usually in the month of September, scientists announce what the minimum sea ice in the Arctic was for the summer. These calculations use a range of information including satellite observations. EUMETSAT has a dedicated Satellite Application Facility for Ocean and Sea Ice. You can find detailed information about sea ice concentration, sea ice extent, and sea ice types in the range of products on their website.

These new videos from NASA Earth Observation, and presented by climate scientist Claire Parkinson, explain how scientists interpret satellite data and calculate sea ice changes. They are really useful for understanding how these satellite observations work, and how mathematics can help unlock the world around us.

Finally, here’s an animation of sea ice in the Arctic during the summer of 2013. It was created by NASA using data from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency‘s AMSR2 instrument on the GCOM-W1 satellite. It covers the period from 16 May until 12 September, 2013, which was the day before the sea ice reached its minimum area of coverage for the year.

About the Author

Ruth McAvinia

Ruth McAvinia

Learning Zone Writer

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