Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

In Pictures: A look at the Arctic sea ice decline

The more scientists study the sea ice that floats atop the Arctic Ocean, the more it resembles something that lives and breathes, a dynamic membrane that hosts microbial communities, fosters chemical reactions and connects air with water in surprising ways

1 of 6

The more scientists study the sea ice that floats atop the Arctic Ocean, the more it resembles something that lives and breathes, a dynamic membrane that hosts microbial communities, fosters chemical reactions and connects air with water in surprising ways.

Feiyue Wang/University of Manitoba

2 of 6

Jens Ehn, assistant professor at Centre for Earth Observation Science, gathers ice samples and data at the Sea-ice Environment Research Facility at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, March 1, 2013.

John Woods/The Globe and Mail

3 of 6

While ice cover over the Arctic Ocean always grows in winter and retreats during the summer, its minimum extent, typically measured in September, is on a downward trend. Last year it hit a record low, dipping to 3.41 million square kilometres.

Feiyue Wang/University of Manitoba

4 of 6

Jens Ehn, assistant professor at Centre for Earth Observation Science, and technician Amanda Chaulk gather ice samples at the Sea-ice Environment Research Facility at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, March 1, 2013.

John Woods/The Globe and Mail

Story continues below advertisement

5 of 6

Climate models predict a decline in sea ice as the planet warms, but nowhere near this fast. Understanding why the ice is vanishing so quickly is at the top of David Barber’s agenda, who is director of the University of Manitoba’s Centre for Earth Observation Science.

Feiyue Wang/University of Manitoba

6 of 6

Jens Ehn, assistant professor at Centre for Earth Observation Science, gathers ice samples at the Sea-ice Environment Research Facility at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, March 1, 2013. The Arctic is now looking like it will become ice free during the summer some time between 2015 and 2030.

John Woods/The Globe and Mail

Report an error