Declassified U.S. Navy submarine data aids in Arctic ice study


  • Randy Showstack


The United States Navy's Cold War maneuvers once again have proven fruitful for science. The Navy's recent declassification of about 20 submarine cruise tracks in the Arctic Ocean—spanning several decades—could provide researchers with a better understanding of how global climate change is affecting the Arctic ice cap, says Mike Ledbetter, National Science Foundation (NSF) program director for Arctic system science.

NSF announced in January that data from one track—an April 1992 trans-Arctic Ocean track—already has been released, and that the task of sanitizing all of the tracks for military sensitivity and making them available to the public should be completed in about 1 1/2 years.