Author Archive

The extent of arctic sea ice during the summer has declined to near-record minima during the last several summers. Can we predict future minima? Our weekly to seasonal forecasts provided by the National/Naval Ice Center help residents and navigators in the Arctic make better decisions regarding sea ice.

Francis, J.A., and A.J. Schweiger, “A new window to the Arctic”, Eos Trans. AGU( 81), 77-78, 2000.

Francis, J.A., D.M. White, J.J. Cassano, W.J. Gutowski Jr., L.D. Hinzman, M.M. Holland, M.A. Steele, and C.J. Vörösmarty, An arctic hydrologic system in transition: Feedbacks and impacts on terrestrial, marine, and human life, J. Geophys. Res., 114, G04019, doi:10.1029/2008JG000902, 2009.

Frey, K. E., D. K. Perovich, and B. Light (2011), The spatial distribution of solar radiation under a melting Arctic sea ice cover, Geophys. Res. Lett., 38, L22501, doi:10.1029/2011GL049421.

Fudge, T.J., and B. Smith, “Instruments and Methods Light propagation in firn: application to borehole video“, J. Glaciology, 56(198), 614-624, 2010.

The Quaternary Research Center (QRC) and the Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA, are seeking Postdoctoral Research Associates with interests in the polar regions.

Geilhufe, M., D.B. Percival, and H.L. Stern, 2013, Two-dimensional wavelet variance estimation with application to sea ice SAR images, Computers & Geosciences, 54, 351-360.

Decription: Globle Ice-Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System Data
Geographic Area:
Time Period: 1979 – present
Parameters: Ice thickness, concentration, ocean surface temperature, salinity, velocity, and others.
Data Access:
Global Sea Ice (GIOMAS) Data Sets


Gray, L., I. Joughin, S. Tulaczyk, V.B. Spikes, R. Bindschadler, and K.C. Jezek,’ Evidence for subglacial water transport in the West Antarctic ice sheet through three-dimensional satellite radar interferometry’, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, 10.1029/2004GL021387, 2005.

Numerous recent studies have revealed rapid change in ice discharge from Greenland’s outlet glaciers. A near doubling in flow speed of many of Greenland’s glaciers substantially increased the rate at which the ice sheet calved icebergs to the ocean over the last five years.

This project characterizes the Greenland Ice Sheet’s subglacial microbial communities to investigate the effect of microbes on lithospheric weathering and nutrient fluxes from the GrIS margin in West Greenland.

The dramatic melt expected over the next week signals that global warming is having a major impact on the polar region

Gurarie, E., R. Andrews, and K.L. Laidre,’ A novel method for identifying behavioral changes in animal movement data’, Ecol. Lett., 12, 395-408, 2009.

Häkkinen, S., F. Dupont, M. Karcher, F. Kauker, D. Worthen, and J. Zhang,’ Model simulation of Greenland Sea upper-ocean variability’, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C06S90, doi:10.1029/2006JC003687, 2007.

Heide-Jørgensen M. P., K. L. Laidre, M.L. Burt, D.L. Borchers, T. A. Marques, R. G. Hansen, M. Rasmussen and S. Fossette, “Abundance of narwhals (Monodon monoceros L.) on the hunting grounds in Greenland”, Journal of Mammalogy 91(5):1135–1151, 2010

Heide-Jørgensen, M. P., K. L. Laidre, M. L. Logsdon, and T. G. Nielsen,’ Springtime coupling between phytoplankton, sea ice and sea temperature in Disko Bay, West Greenland’, Progress in Oceanography, 73:79-95, 2007.

Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., H. Stern, and K. Laidre,’ Dynamics of the ice edge in Davis Strait’, Journal of Marine Systems, 67, 170-178, 2007

Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K. Laidre, D. Borchers, F. Samarra, and H. Stern,’ Increasing abundance of bowhead whales in West Greenland’, Biol. Lett., 3, 577-580, doi:10.1098/rsbl.2007.0310, 2007.

Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., and K.L. Laidre,’ Marine apex predators’, The Greenland Ice Sheet in a Changing Climate, edited by D. Dahl-Jensen et al. Oslo, Norway, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program, 76-78, 2009.

Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K.L. Laidre, D. Borchers, T.A. Marques, H. Stern, and M. Simon, 2010, The effect of sea-ice loss on beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas) in West Greenland’, Polar Research, doi:10.1111/j.1751-8369.2009.00142.x, 2010.

Heide-Jørgensen, M.P., K. L. Laidre, Ø. Wiig, L. Postma, L. Dueck, L. Bachmann, “Large scale sexual segregation of bowhead whales”, Endangered Species Research 13:73-78, 2010.

Our overarching goals are to study and understand the physical processes in the high latitude oceans, including large-scale circulation, shelf-basin interactions, and water mass formation; linkages between polar oceans and the lower latitudes; and the role of polar processes in climate. We do this primarily with observations, drawing on theory and modelling results to explain processes we observe. Our primary tools are subsurface moorings in ice-covered waters, which we deploy in several regions to study different questions.

Hill, V.J., P.A. Matrai; E. Olson; S. Suttle; M. Steele; L. Codispoti; R. Zimmerman, Synthesis of primary production in the Arctic Ocean: II. In situ and remotely sensed integrated estimates, 1999-2007,  Progress in Oceanography (110) 107:125, doi:10.1016/j.pocean.2012.11.005, 2010.

Holland, M.M., C.M. Bitz, and A.J. Weaver,’ The influence of sea ice physics on simulations of climate change’, J. Geophys. Res., 106, 2441-2464, 2001.

Holland, M.M., C.M. Bitz, M. Eby, and A.J. Weaver,’ The role of ice-ocean interactions in the variability of the North Atlantic thermohaline circulation’, J. Climate, 14, 656-675, 2001.

Holland, M.M., and C.M. Bitz,’ Polar amplification of climate change in coupled models’, Clim. Dyn., 21, 221-232, 2003.

Holland, M.M., D.A. Bailey, B.P. Briegleb, B. Light, and E. Hunke.  Improved Sea Ice Shortwave Radiation Physics in CCSM4: The Impact of Melt Ponds and Aerosols on Arctic Sea Ice. Journal of Climate, Vol. 25, No. 5, March 2012: 1413-1430.

Holloway, G., F. Dupont, E. Goloubeva, G. Platov, S. Hakkinen, D. Worthen, E. Hunke, M. Maltrud, M. Karcher, F. Kauker, M. Maqueda, D. Stark, M. Steele, and J. Zhang, Water properties and circulation in Arctic Ocean models, J. Geophys. Res., 112, C04S03, doi:10.1029/2006JC003642, 2007.

Description: Morphological and optical characteristics of the summer Arctic sea ice cover during the Healy Oden TRans Arctic EXpedition (HOTRAX)
Geographic Area: Arctic Basin transect: 76 2.119N 157 55.807 W to 80 28.254 N 7 34.4 E
Time Period: 12 Aug – 26 Sept 2005
Parameters: Snow depth, ice thickness, light transmission,soot content, incident solar irradiance, spectral reflectance, surface temperature, ice watch, aerial photographs, mass balance
Data Access:
Contact Don Perovich


Howat, I. M., I. Joughin, S. Tulaczyk, and S. Gogineni,’ Rapid retreat and acceleration of Helheim Glacier, east Greenland’, Geophys. Res. Lett., 32, 2005.

Howat, I. M., I. Joughin, and T. A. Scambos,’ Rapid changes in ice discharge from Greenland outlet glaciers’, Science, 315, 1559-1561, 2007.

Howat, I.M., Smith, B.E., Joughin, I., et al, Rates of southeast Greenland ice volume loss from combined ICESat and ASTER observations, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35(17), L17505, 2008.

Huck, P., B. Light, H. Eicken, and M. Haller, Mapping sediment-laden sea ice in the Arctic using AVHRR remote-sensing data: Atmospheric correction and determination of reflectances as a function of ice type and sediment load, Remote Sensing of Environment, 107, 484-495, doi:10.1016/j.rse.2006.10.002, 2007.

Hulbe, C. L., Johnston, R., Joughin, I. & Scambos, T.,’ Marine ice modification of fringing ice shelf flow’, Arctic Antarctic And Alpine Research, 37, 323-330, 2005.

IceBridge is a NASA project that supports the acquisition of various data from aircraft in both polar regions that will bridge the gap in coverage between the now defunct ICESat satellite and the next generation ICESat II to be launched in 2015 at the earliest. The main focuses of the data acquisition will be laser altimetry and radar measurements of ice sheets (Greenland and Antarctica) and sea ice (Arctic and Antarctica).

Recent research by Kristin Laidre and Harry Stern on the impacts of climate change on Arctic narwhals is published in Polar Biology.  See the article in Conservation Magazine.

Expeditionary artist Maria Coryell-Martin has traveled to Niaqornat, Greenland with Kristin Laidre to document the work being done to monitor narwhals.  Maria will be posting field updates with photos and artwork through mid-April.

This project is to examine over 30 years of landfast ice records, cyclone tracks and intensity along with frequency and timing of coastal high wind conditions, nearshore pack ice drift, and coastal weather observations in two representative arctic coastal regions.

In recent years the ice extent in the Arctic has been much reduced from that of historical norms and the ice-albedo feedback is often cited as a major factor in causing this accelerated summer ice retreat. An important countervailing feedback is the ice thickness-growth feedback wherein thin ice grows much more quickly in the winter than thick ice. The strength of this negative feedback mechanism depends on the rate heat is lost from the surface to the atmosphere.  The primary objectives of this project are to better understand how rapidly the extra summer heat absorbed in the Arctic Ocean in…

The objective of this project is to investigate impacts of Arctic sea ice reduction on bromine, ozone, and mercury chemical processes, transport, and distribution from sea ice surfaces on the Arctic Ocean, and atmospheric transport of these chemicals to high mountains on land.

Norbert Untersteiner, founder and former director of the Polar Science Center, passed away on March 14, 2012 at the age of 86. Norbert was the director of the Polar Science Center from 1981-1988 when he became chairman of Atmospheric Sciences at UW. A Memorial Celebration of Norbert’s life will be held on the UW campus at the University Club (the former Faculty Club) on Friday, April 13 from 6-8pm. All are welcome.  For further information, contact Mike Wallace at (206) 543-7390 or the Polar Science Center at (206) 543-6613.  In lieu of flowers or gifts, donations may be made to the Kaplan Research Fund, c/o Swedish Medical Center Foundation, 747 Broadway, Seattle, WA  98122.

Observations of surface air pressure (SAP) and surface air temperature (SAT) provide the foundation of our ability to forecast weather and ice conditions, and our ability to understand the earth’s climate and climate change. These basic variables are monitored through out the globe by weather stations on land, moored buoys along the coast, and drifting buoys in most of the world’s oceans. However, the Southern Ocean and sea ice around Antarctica continue to be one of the least sampled areas of the planet. This lack of observations around Antarctica hinders our ability to accurately predict weather (Bromwich and Cassano, 2001),…

The participants of the IABP work together to maintain a network of drifting buoys in the Arctic Ocean to provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research purposes including support to the World Climate Research Programme and the World Weather Watch Programme.

Decription: IABP data
Geographic Area:
Arctic Ocean
Time Period: 1979 to present
Parameters: Ice Velocity, Sea Level Pressure, and Surface Air Temperature
Data Access:

PI: Ian Joughin The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is losing mass, in large part because of rapid thinning of the Amundsen Coast glaciers. Estimates of Amundsen Coast thinning range from 46 to 86 Gtons/yr, with the 40-Gton/yr difference in estimates being nearly equivalent to the combined outflow of Mercer, Whillans, Kamb, and Bindschadler ice streams (46 Gtons/yr). While warmer ocean temperatures may drive this thinning, the large uncertainties in the current mass balance estimates largely arise from poor knowledge of the snowfall accumulation over Pine Island, Thwaites, Smith, Pope and Kohler glaciers. This International Polar Year project is determining accumulation rates in this vastly under-sampled region to remove the large uncertainties in current mass balance estimates.

Recent years have seen extreme changes in the Arctic sea ice cover and adjacent open ocean – reduced ice extent, record sea surface temperatures, thinner and younger ice, and loss of ice in areas that had been ice-covered throughout human memory.Particularly striking are changes within marginal ice zones (MIZ) – areas that are becoming increasingly covered by low concentration, diffuse sea ice.The proposed work, referred to here as the “Marginal Ice Zone Ocean and Ice Observations and Processes Experiment (MIZOPEX)”, brings to bear the capabilities of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) in concert with in-situ observations and satellite remote sensing to…

Airborne and satellite observations of West Antarctic topography and glacier flow speeds are combined with a computer model simulating ocean-driven glacier melting to show that the ice sheet’s collapse is already underway.

Jesse Hyles, LT-USCG, US Naval Institute Blog USCG Air Station Kodiak’s Arctic Domain Awareness Mission Scientific Support Operations: A Vital Step Toward Arctic Understanding

Joughin, I., D.R. MacAyeal, and S. Tulaczyk,’ Basal shear stress of the Ross ice streams from control method inversions’, J. Geophys. Res., 109, B09405, 10.1029/2003JB002960, 2004.

Joughin, I. & Bamber, J. L.,’ Thickening of the ice stream catchments feeding the Filchner-Ronne Ice Shelf, Antarctica’, Geophysical Research Letters, 32, 2005.