S.H.E.B.A. – Ice Surprise

“The variety of ice types and the many patterns of its fracture and dislocation amaze a first-time visitor.” The words of Barry Lopez, from his book “Arctic Dreams.” For the past year, scientists from NASA and other government agencies have been taking a very close look at Arctic Ice in all its forms. It’s all part of a study to understand the effects of global warming on the polar regions.
I’m Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

We’re listening to the sounds of someone walking across a field of ice in the Arctic.

Dick Moritz is the director of the SHEBA Project Office at the University of Washington. SHEBA stands for Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean.

“One of the key experiments that’s being conducted at SHEBA is to monitor and determine the governing processes for all the melting and freezing of the pack ice. So to carry this out, we need to sample all the different kinds of pack ice phenomena that are occurring. So all these different types of ice have instruments for measuring their temperature, changes in the thickness of the ice, both at the bottom surface and the top, changes in the snow depth and a number of physical variables there.”

The Arctic ice revealed some unexpected findings.

“All of us at SHEBA were very surprised at the freshness of the upper Arctic Ocean, the low salinity, the thinness of the ice. We were seeking ice in the three to four meter range and what we found was — the thickest ice we could find was two meters. And one interpretation of this is we’re actually seeing the first effects of the response of the Arctic Ocean to global warming.”

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I’m Jim Metzner.

S.H.E.B.A. - Ice Surprise

Some of the first evidence of global warming may be found in the composition of Arctic ice.
Air Date:10/22/1998
Scientist:
Transcript:

"The variety of ice types and the many patterns of its fracture and dislocation amaze a first-time visitor." The words of Barry Lopez, from his book "Arctic Dreams." For the past year, scientists from NASA and other government agencies have been taking a very close look at Arctic Ice in all its forms. It's all part of a study to understand the effects of global warming on the polar regions.
I'm Jim Metzner, and this is the Pulse of the Planet, presented by the American Museum of Natural History.

We're listening to the sounds of someone walking across a field of ice in the Arctic.

Dick Moritz is the director of the SHEBA Project Office at the University of Washington. SHEBA stands for Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean.

"One of the key experiments that's being conducted at SHEBA is to monitor and determine the governing processes for all the melting and freezing of the pack ice. So to carry this out, we need to sample all the different kinds of pack ice phenomena that are occurring. So all these different types of ice have instruments for measuring their temperature, changes in the thickness of the ice, both at the bottom surface and the top, changes in the snow depth and a number of physical variables there."

The Arctic ice revealed some unexpected findings.

"All of us at SHEBA were very surprised at the freshness of the upper Arctic Ocean, the low salinity, the thinness of the ice. We were seeking ice in the three to four meter range and what we found was -- the thickest ice we could find was two meters. And one interpretation of this is we're actually seeing the first effects of the response of the Arctic Ocean to global warming."

Pulse of the Planet is presented by the American Museum of Natural History. Additional funding for this series has been provided by the National Science Foundation. I'm Jim Metzner.