But in 2013, the ice volume jumped up by 41%.
Researchers from UCL and University of Leeds revealed through their study that the ice in the Northern hemisphere is more sensitive to changes in summer melting than it is to winter cooling, a finding which will help researchers to predict future changes in its volume.
In a shocking twist, the amount of Arctic sea ice has increased by a third after a particularly cool summer of 2013 – and the growth continued into last year, compensating for some of the losses in the previous three years. These diagrams show the region in springtime of (left to right) 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014. The details were published in the journal Nature Geoscience.
“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 in their study.
When compared to ~772,000 readings from an airborne laser, 430 measurements from electromagnetic sensors and 80 million upward-looking sonar observations, the team found that CryoSat’s measurements of sea ice thickness agreed to within 2mm.
In 2014, the Arctic experienced its fourth warmest year since records began over a century ago, according to an annual study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Adminstration. A novel research has unveiled that Arctic sea ice is being lost in the long term.
But she dismissed the idea of a wider recovery of the ice cap, saying that climate change is still driving average temperatures up, despite significant variation from one year to the next.
But they said 2013 was a one-off, and that climate change would continue to shrink the ice in the decades ahead. But this decline has been hard to assess accurately before CryoSat-2 was used.
Tilling added: ‘Until CryoSat-2 was launched, it was tricky to measure the volume of Arctic sea ice as the pack drifts and measurements could not be taken across the whole region. “Together with maps of sea ice extent, our measurements of sea ice thickness now complete the picture because they reveal what’s going on below the water, where most of the action happens”.
Figures showed a peak in the sea ice volume after the summer of 2013. Using data gathered by the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite from October 2010 through November 2014-and corroborated by field measurements, including some made at an ice camp north of Greenland (shown) in March 2014-researchers assembled a month-by-month record of sea ice volume throughout the Arctic Ocean, with the exception of a state-of-Georgia-sized area closest to the North Pole that was invisible to the satellite.