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Pancake ice takes over the Arctic

pancake-ice.jpgLast week I blogged on new research into shrinking Arctic summer sea ice. But as just reported at Nature News, climate change is not only “making Arctic sea ice disappear — it’s also changing the type of ice that forms”.

Nicola Jones writes that a patchwork of ‘pancake ice’ is becoming more common as the Arctic Ocean opens up and grows choppier. Because pancake ice is thinner and patchier than the usual think multi-year sea ice found in the Arctic, more sunlight is now reflected from the sea surface in the region, causing concern that it could accelerate local warming. It could have other knock-on effects on ocean circulation, ice growth and air temperature. More details in the story here.

Anna Barnett

Image: Pancake ice / Glenn Grant, National Science Foundation

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