Sea Ice Studies
Marginal Ice Zone studies
From October 21 to November 6, 2013, the PMEL Arctic team utilized the heavily-instrumented NOAA WP-3D Orion "Hurricane Hunter" research aircraft to complete the first intensive Arctic overflight experiments to make quantitative measurements of autumn sea ice freezeup in the Chukchi sea, a region of potential oil exploration. The objective of the flights was met by successfully making measurements of the ocean, and of the atmosphere over open water, first year ice, and multi-year ice, under a variety of weather conditions, during the freezeup.
Sea Ice Outlook
Another activity relevant to sea ice includes participation in the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook an international effort to provide a community-wide summary of the expected September arctic sea ice minimum. Monthly reports released throughout the summer synthesize community estimates of the current state and expected minimum of sea ice—at both a pan-arctic and regional scale. The intent of the SEARCH Sea Ice Outlook effort is not to issue predictions, but rather to summarize all available data and observations to provide the scientific community, stakeholders, and the public the best available information on the evolution of arctic sea ice. Sea Ice Outlook activities are supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), and through the volunteer efforts of contributors. The Outlook is organized by the SEARCH Project Office at the Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S. (ARCUS). The pan-arctic monthly reports are synthesized by the Arctic Climate Dynamics group leader James Overland.