Unprecedented Arctic weather has scientists on edge


Sea ice on track for lowest maximum amount on record.

As station chief at NOAA’s Point Barrow, Alaska, observatory, Bryan Thomas works close to the edge of the Arctic Ocean. What he saw from his office in early February, looking north toward the horizon, was troubling.

“I could see what’s known as water-skyoffsite link — the reflection of dark water on clouds on the horizon,” Thomas said. “From land, you can maybe see 10 miles, and the clouds were telling us that somewhere in that distance there was open water.”

Normally, there would be unbroken sea ice for hundreds of miles.

“Here we are in February, when we expect maximum sea ice extentoffsite link,” Thomas added. “This might be all we’re going to get.”

Continue reading at NOAA.

Photo via NOAA.