Arctic ice thinning measured by researchers

Though sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will reach its thinnest level in September, it will not be as low as it was in 2007, according to researchers.

Though sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will reach its thinnest level of the year in September, it will not reach the 30-year low of 2007, according to researchers.

In 2007, satellites found the least sea ice covering the Arctic since they began monitoring it in the 1970s. This year, the forecast is not as dire, but scientists are still concerned about the thinning ice.

Sea ice physicists at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany are currently measuring the thickness of the ice north and east of Greenland. They are employing the EM-Bird, an electromagnetic device that measures thickness when it is towed by helicopters or planes over the ice.

They are concerned the mass of sea ice is declining, throwing off  the long-term equilibrium in the Arctic Ocean and changing the amount of freshwater that leaves the area, as well as the amount of salinity in the water.

In recent years, they have noted there is less freshwater leaving the area and a decreased level of salt in the water.

The one-week experiment will help determine how much freshwater is leaving the Arctic Ocean.