(Image source: APL)
Last week, a melt puddle began to form near APL’s Camera 2. The pool extended in the near camera field from left to right just beyond the black and white markers. It covered just more than half the field of view and was represented by a thin, though growing, swath of melt water.
As you can see in the image above, last week’s melt pool has greatly increased. It now covers the entire camera field and has turned the ice on which the camera stands into a tiny island. In the distance and to the left-hand side, we can also see a black stretch of open water cutting between the ice flow upon which the camera sits and a far ice flow barely visible in the distance.
Hole at the North Pole
Since early June, a series of storms have consistently worn away at the central ice, resulting in thinning over an area that is usually very resilient to melt. This thinning has resulted in steep losses of sea ice concentration and thickness in a large swath near the North Pole and extending into the Laptev Sea.
The US Navy’s most recent thickness model run shows this expanding swath of thin ice in the animation below:
(Image source: US Navy)
In the most recent model prediction, central sea ice melt is shown to continue to expand through next week. So, through direct observations on the ice and through model summaries like the one above, we have clear evidence of expanding ice melt in the Arctic’s most protected regions. As such, it seems North Pole Camera 2 may soon be in even deeper water.