The Physics
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Thickness of Arctic Ice

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Johannessen, Ola M. & Sandven, Stein. Remote Sensing of Sea Ice in the Northern Sea Route: Studies and Application. Springer Praxis Books. 2006. "The reason for this is that the mean thickness of Arctic sea ice is about 3 m, where as the mean thickness of Antarctic sea is 1.0-1.5 m." 3.0 m
Arctic Ocean. The CIA World Factbook. Washington, D.C. 2003 "Terain: central surface covered by a perennial drifting polar icepack that averages about 3 meters in thickness, although pressure ridges may be three times that size" 3.0 m
Wadhams, Peter. How Does Arctic Sea Ice Form and Decay? Professor of Ocean Physics, Scott Polar Research Institute. UK. 2003 "This growth process yields first-year ice, which in a single season in the Arctic reaches a thickness of 1.5-2 m." 1.5-2.0 m
Garratt, R.P. & Bourke, R.H. Temporal and Spatial Distributions of Arctic Sea Ice Thickness and Pressure Ridging Statistics. Defense Technical Information Center. 1985. "The overall seasonal mean ranges from approximately 2.4 m in spring to 3.3 m in summer." 2.4-3.3 m
Haas, Christian. Arctic sea ice thickness variability retrieved from EM thickness soundin [sic]. Alfred Wegener Institute. Germany. 2004. "In the Transpolar Drift, observations in 1991, 1996, 1998, and 2001 showed a 20% decrease of level ice thickness to a typical thickness of 1.95 m." 1.95 m

The Arctic is the polar region around the Earth's North Pole, opposite the Antarctic polar region around the South Pole. The Arctic region has a huge ice-covered ocean surrounded by frozen ground with no trees. The Arctic Ocean is mostly covered by ice and surrounded by land. An average of 15,000,000 km2 sea ice extent occupies about 7% of the area of the world ocean. The arctic sea ice stays through the summer and continues to grow the following autumn. The sea ice in the Arctic stays longer than the sea ice in the Antarctic.

Arctic ice is different from glaciers. The ice formed on sea water does not get very thick like glaciers do. Most of the freezing takes place takes place on the bottom of the ice sheet. The ice-forming process is slowed down when ice traps air, which acts like an insulator.

Polar bears, walruses, whales, sea birds, plants, fishes, and the native people live in the Arctic. Life in the Arctic is being threatened by Arctic warming. In the Arctic region, temperatures are rising fast. The Arctic warming is heating up the Arctic causing the ice to melt faster than predicted. The presence of the sea ice is dependent on climatic conditions. With the presence of the sea ice, the arctic animals use it as a place to hunt for food or to rest. The melt of the sea ice will disrupt the whole food web in the Arctic. Also with the decrease of the sea ice, it is speeding up global warming. The earth absorbs more sunlight and gets hotter. Not only would the Arctic warming affects the Arctic life but would also affect everyone else.

Angie Yuan -- 2007