March 27, 2013
Bigger Cracks Than Ever in the Beaufort Sea Ice
You may recall that a couple of weeks ago we showed you some satellite images revealing that the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska had become covered with a vast spider's web of cracks. Then last weekend gaping fissures tens of miles across opened up in the ice cap north of Greenland. Today we take you back to the Beaufort Sea once more, where this is what the latest satellite images reveal:
We characterised the "cracks" north of Greenland as "roughly the distance between Exeter and Newton Abbot across". This one's more like the distance between Exeter and Plymouth across, and it wasn't there a few days ago. These sort of scenes aren't unprecedented in the Arctic, but as the animation in our first post on the "Arctic ice mirror crack'd" shows, last year they weren't to be seen until May.
Meanwhile NASA haven't just being relying on satellites to get a good view of exactly what's going on in the Beaufort Sea. Over the last few days they've been flying low over what's left of the sea ice in their P3-B airborne laboratory on another one of their IceBridge missions. Here's a video showing their preparations for this year's Arctic operation:
Here's a few still images taken out of the window of NASA's P3, giving you a closeup view of the Beaufort Sea ice cracking at the seams yet again, and well over a month earlier than last year:
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