Arctic explorers find unusually thin ice as a result of climate change

The Polarstern icebreaker

Lianna Nixon/MOSAiC

The biggest ever science expedition to the Arctic encountered extremely thin sea ice, which could threaten future efforts to study the region.

A team on board the Polarstern icebreaker began drifting last September until their vessel became locked in an ice floe. In the area where they started their journey, off the Russian continental shelf, the ice was exceptionally thin compared to what models predicted for the last two decades. The ice was around 50 centimetres thick compared to the 150-160cm found in three years of observations in the 1990s.

“It was something we were …

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