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article imageHigh Arctic sea ice breaking off and moving toward coastlines

By Karen Graham     Apr 2, 2018 in Environment
Footage shot across the North Atlantic captured a stunning view of accumulating sea ice over Brighton, Newfoundland. According to researchers, this also serves as a stark reminder of the impact of climate change.
Climate hobbyist Andre Beyzaei was in for a big surprise when he flew his drone over the sea off the Newfoundland Coast on March 27, 2018.
“Usually you see a bit of sea-ice along the coasts and if you happen to fly the drone far enough, you may capture some icebergs much further away,” Beyzaei told Global News.
However, instead of a little sea ice along the coastline, the closeup drone footage showed accumulating sea ice stretching over Brighton, Newfoundland. No, this does not mean scientists are wrong about climate change and Arctic sea ice extent because the video actually confirms scientist's conclusions and suggests another difficult spring for ship traffic in the area.
Sea ice is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft in March  2017  above Greenla...
Sea ice is seen from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft in March, 2017, above Greenland, which is among parties to the Arctic Ocean commercial fishing moratorium
“That does not seem to be the case around this time of year. I would assume that it would take much longer time for the sea-ice to melt and subsequently we would witness massive icebergs coming along later in June and July," Beyzaei said.
As has been reported in March year, the Arctic has just experienced its warmest winter on record, while sea ice extent reached its second-lowest extent on record - barely inching out 2017's ice coverage record low.
Many readers might remember that in June 2017, an important BaySys expedition, led by Arctic specialist, David Barber from the University of Manitoba had to be canceled because the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen had to be diverted to deal with extremely thick ice off the coast of Newfoundland.
Arctic sea ice extent as of March 22  2018 for the 2017-18 summer (blue line)  along with daily ice ...
Arctic sea ice extent as of March 22, 2018 for the 2017-18 summer (blue line), along with daily ice extent data for the four previous years: 2016-17 (green), 2015-16 (orange), 2014-15 (brown) and 2013-14 (purple).
Thick ice and climate change?
We hear so much about the Arctic's thinning ice cover. So why would extreme thick ice be another indication of climate change? While helping the crew of the Amundsen with search and rescue operations, the scientists were still able to determine that most of the thick ice in the Strait of Belle Isle and off Newfoundland's coast originated in the high Arctic.
The scientists found that multiyear sea ice from the high Arctic was among the ice cover. This was unusual because ice off the Newfoundland coast is usually mostly first-year ice and only lasts from January to May, Not only that, but the ice hung around through June last year.
The team concluded the ice had become much more mobile as it has decreased in thickness and is now pushing through channels in the Arctic Ocean, like the Bering and Nares Straits and ended up accumulating more in southern waters than before.
The research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen..
The research icebreaker CCGS Amundsen..
University of Manitoba
And Beyzaei's footage filmed in March this year further confirms what the scientists concluded. This means there will be another difficult spring for shipping in the region.
The scientists published their in-situ observations from aboard the Canadian icebreaker Amundsen in the journal Geophysical Research Letters on March 15.
The research paper concludes that "Thicker sea ice may become more present at southerly latitudes as ice flux increases through straits that have historically been seasonally blocked by ice arches—a counterintuitive outcome of a warming Arctic and diminishing ice cover."
More about Antarctic research station, Landseer newfoundland, high arctic ice, Icebergs, Climate change
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