Leading independent ice scientists from the University of Cambridge joined the Greenpeace ice breaker Arctic Sunrise on an expedition to test Arctic
sea ice thickness, in a year that could mark the lowest sea ice minimum on record. Temperature rise in the Arctic is among the fastest on Earth due to emissions of carbon dioxide from oil, coal and gas. As climate change causes the Arctic’s sea ice cover to recede, the ice’s cooling effect caused by its reflecting solar radiation back into space is reduced, causing temperatures to rise even faster.
Melting of the Arctic sea ice is one of the most visible signs of the effect of climate change on our planet. By taking the Arctic Sunrise
deep into the Arctic sea ice, the scientists on board will be able to carry out crucial tests that will provide a greater understanding of how quickly it is disappearing.
The complex computer models used for climate prediction indicate that within a few decades Arctic sea ice, vital for keeping the planet cool,
could completely disappear in the summer months. During the expedition, the scientists have set up and 'ice station' on an ice floe in Fram Strait, near Svalbard. An ice station is a collection of tests and surveys that together tell the story of how the floe was formed, its thickness, salinity and other characteristics.
The melting of the Arctic needs to be a wake up call for world leaders to take action on climate change.