Ice records

20140718_moffen_2616-2
pack ice

In recent years there have been many stories about the melting of the sea ice in the Arctic. I often get questions if I notice things like that as well. Yes, I do. In the past years, we had to go really far north (up to 82.5 degrees north last year) to find pack ice. This year is a little different though. Around Spitsbergen, there is still lots of sea ice (as can be seen on the ice chart. Nearly all the ice is first-year ice (formed in last winter) and is quite thin, but it made for a different scenery again. Does this mean we’re all good again? Well, no. Sea ice, like the weather, fluctuates. Sometimes there is a little more, sometimes there is a little less. But the overall trend is still downwards, as can be seen here. But maybe, maybe it can be a start of something? Well, most likely next year it will be back to ‘normal’ again, with the ice way up north. This year at least, I’ve really enjoyed negotiating the ice and seeing the wildlife connected to it.

Arjen Drost

Arjen is a Polar ecologist, nature photographer and full time expedition guide on expedition cruise ships in both Polar regions. With his pictures and stories he likes to show the beauty of these very fragile and threatened places.

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