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International Workshop - Artic Sea Ice Thickness: Past, Present and Future, EUR 22416

Funded under: FP6-SUSTDEV


This book represents the proceedings of the International Workshop on Arctic Sea Ice Thickness: Past, Present and Future, held at Rungstedgaard Conference Centre, near Copenhagen, Denmark, on 8-9 November 2005.
The conference was a timely effort to bring together scientists from Europe, North America and Japan who are concerned with the problem of measuring and understanding the thinning of the Arctic sea ice cover. This thinning is dramatic, more than 40% in the last 25 years, and it promises to turn the Arctic Ocean into a seasonal sea ice zone by the 2080s, according to most climate models, but significantly earlier according to some others. Given that the thinning rate is faster than the rate of shrinkage of ice extent, it seems likely that in its final stages the ice cover will fragment and disappear quite suddenly, either through mechanical weakness or because the summer melt rate exceeds the winter growth rate.
The wide-ranging papers in the book cover the methods used to measure ice thickness, on scales from basinwide down to local; the results obtained; the modelling of ice thickness; and the implications for Man�s activities. Palaeoclimatic studies are also described, which reveal periods during the past 100,000 years when the Arctic Ocean has been ice-free, a challenge to our understanding of Earth system processes. Since the disappearance of the Arctic sea ice is literally the most visible aspect of global warming in action - we can see the change in the face of the planet from space - it is appropriate that the European Commission should take the initiative in seeking to understand this phenomenon.

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