Explore ice-free Arctic Ocean
UW scientists team with Coast Guard to explore ice-free Arctic Ocean -- with slideshow
It used to be that the ice just pulled back a bit from the beach each year. Now we’re seeing huge areas of open water. Jamie Morison, APL
By Nancy Gohring
News and Information
With the melting ice in the Arctic, U.S. Coast Guard crews based in Alaska have taken on a new challenge: carefully deploying scientific equipment through cracks in the ice from an airplane hundreds of feet in the air.
It’s all part of a new partnership that has evolved since disappearing Arctic ice has opened vast new frontiers – for the Coast Guard and for University of Washington scientists.
This year, the lowest ebb of Arctic sea ice covered less area than at any time since scientists began recording it. From 1979 to 2000, the average low point for the year was 7 million square kilometers, or 2.7 million square miles. This year, it’s less than half as much – 3.4 million square kilometers.