News

Svalbard: the state of the cryosphere 2020

2020 was the warmest year on record for Norway since the temperature measurements began more than 120 years ago. For Svalbard, although not beating the record from 2016, 2020 was also a warm year with the warmest summer in the 121-year record for Svalbard Airport. The Norwegian Meteorological Institute conducts in-situ measurements and remote sensing observations of the cryosphere: terrestrial snow cover, permafrost and sea ice. What types of cryospheric observations are available on cryo.met.no for the Svalbard area, and what characterized these for 2020?

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Sea Ice Extent plot with updated minimum years

Arctic sea ice extent2020 holds the second-lowest sea-ice extent on record in the Arctic, following the record-low in 2012. Therefore we update our daily Arctic sea-ice extent figure which includes the two recent years with the lowest sea-ice extent as reference curves. 

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OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1 - new climate indicator of sea ice

sii graphsOn behalf of the OSI SAF sea-ice team, we are happy to present the new OSI SAF Sea Ice Index v2.1. The index consists of both the sea-ice extent and sea-ice area information and is provided as global, hemispheric, and regional data.

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Ice Watch and App-development

Over the last six months, we have received many contributions through Ice Watch and testing of our new mobile application IceWatchApp. In total, the database consists of close to 10 000 individual sea ice observations from research, operations and polar tourism cruises in remote polar waters. To name a few vessels we currently have in our Ice Watch database; RV Kronprins Haakon, KV Svalbard, HI Sverdrup, Polarstern and Akademik Fedorov.

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KEPLER update

As with many aspects of our lives, the KEPLER project has been highly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. All events requiring physical presence of the participants have been postponed to a later date with many of them switched to an online teleconference format. However, when it comes to deliverables and recommendations, the pandemic has had less impact. The KEPLER project is being coordinated by Nick Hughes, the leader of the Norwegian Ice Service in MET Norway

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