New Arctic sea ice draft data from submarines



Arctic sea ice thickness data from 17 newly processed submarine cruises covering over 49,000 kilometers of cruise track have now been added to the archive at the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This addition increases the archive by 68%, to a total of over 120,000 kilometers of track from 37 U.S. Navy and 2 Royal Navy submarine cruises. The data are actually of ice draft, the submerged portion of floating sea ice, which is about 89% of ice thickness.

Declines in Arctic sea ice extent and thickness in recent decades make this an invaluable data set for research into Arctic climate variations [e.g., Tucker et al., 2001], for testing sea ice models [e.g., Rothrock et al., 2003; Miller et al., 2005], and for intercomparison with measurements of thickness by other methods [e.g., Laxon et al., 2003].