Sea Ice Thickness

The following tool can animate and graph ice thickness data after selecting the year and stations to be displayed. While the graph is displayed use the graph button again to update the settings.

To begin the animation select the desired settings then click ‘animate’. The stations will begin animating, changing colour to denote ice thickness and changing size to denote time since last measurement. During animation the only setting that can be interacted with is animation speed. The animation can also be paused and the stations will be then have popups when clicked. The date of the current data point is located right below the map and will change accordingly during the entire animation.

The data used has been collected under the Ice Thickness Program Collection from Environment Canada, seen here. The data consists of approximately weekly measurements of ice and snow thickness over the course of a winter season. Measurements end when the ice is no longer safe to walk on. Note: outliers are excluded from the graphs but left in the animation.

The quantity of multiyear ice has been decreasing within the Arctic in recent decades. The following video displays the retreat of multiyear ice from 1987 to 2012.

Loss of Multi-year Sea Ice Video from NOAA Climate on YouTube.

Sea Ice Volume Sea Ice Thickness
Figure 1: Monthly average Arctic ice volume change during all months of the year with expolation trends extended until 2020 (PIOMAS, 2013) Figure 2: Ice thickness trend from 1980 to present from ICESat data, submarine observations and EM North Pole surveys (IPCC, 2013)
Click figures for larger image

Sea Ice Links

Material on this page was provided by Maren Pauly and Tristan Mills, Department of Geography, University of Waterloo.