Arctic Sea Ice Thickness
In the past 40 years the extent of the Arctic sea ice has strongly decreased and there is growing evidence that the ice cover is also thinning. A melting Arctic has a demonstrated impact not only on the polar region, its ecosystems and local populations, but is now recognized as one of the main causes of the acceleration of global warming.
The extent of the Arctic ice cover is very well monitored by satellites. However, ice thickness observations - which use different techniques, such as satellites, drifting buoys or in situ - are still scarce and subject to uncertainties, hindering the compilation of consistent data sets.
To date, in situ measurements are still the only means of accurate snow thickness observation and they are invaluable for the validation of airborne and satellite measurements.
The Transglobal car route is ideally suited to carry out extensive and rare in situ measurements of sea ice and snow thickness in the high Arctic Ocean at as many individual sampling sites as was possible under satellites overpass. These measurements will give unique insights into the present state of sea ice in one of the most difficult to reach regions of the Arctic Ocean.