ARCTIC SEA ICE

Sea ice temperatures

 

Ice surface temperature  

The figure shows the latest 3-day sliding mean temperature of the ice- and ocean surface.

The ice surface temperature strongly affects heat exchange between the surface and the atmosphere and the rate of ice growth. In order to perform proper forecasting of weather and sea-ice conditions, it is essential to obtain accurate surface temperatures.

A sparsely distributed observational network, consisting of drifting buoys, cannot resolve the surface temperature variations in the Arctic sufficiently but satellite observations can fill in the gaps of the traditional observational network.

The DMI ice temperature product (IST) uses three thermal infrared channels from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on board the Metop-A satellite to calculate the surface temperatures in the Arctic.

 

Sea Ice coverage on the northern hemisphere

The figure shows a map with daily updated sea Ice coverage on the northern hemisphere. The scale goes from white that is 100% ice cover, to black that defines the ice edge. The blue colour indicates coastal lines. The melt season begins when the sunlight intensifies in the spring, and surface temperatures (see the temperature plot above) rises to above zero.

The ice covered area is calculated from the ice type data from the Ocean and Sea Ice, Satellite Application Facility (OSISAF), where areas with ice concentration higher than 15% are classified as ice, and below 15% as open water.