(Image source: APL)
Last week, North Pole Camera 1 began to record visual images of cracks on the surface of sea ice. Now, just one week later, open water is visible in the same location. Meanwhile, cracks are beginning to show up in the vicinity of North Pole Camera 2.
On the ice near these cameras, our Persistent Arctic Cyclone, which has continued to thin the Arctic’s Central ice since late May, is beginning to have a very visible effect. Though the storm center has moved away, leaving these areas mostly sunny, the agitated ocean beneath the ice is making its presence known through cracks and open stretches of water near both of these cameras.
At North Pole Camera 1, to the right hand side of the most recent shot, open water is visible. The best way to see it is to look straight ahead at the anemometer, whose top establishes the horizon. Then, look to the right. There a growing wedge of blue-grey, indicating open water, appears. If you look closely at this section of the image, not only can you see open ocean, but breaking waves are also visible at the ice edge. (It works very well if you have a touch screen you can use to zoom in on this section of image).
Once you locate the ice edge, follow it with your eyes. At this point, we can notice breaking waves from horizon to horizon within the frame of the picture. These features, though subtle, are plainly present.
Given this opening of water near Camera 1, one wonders how much longer this camera will keep sending pictures to us.
At North Pole Camera 2, a crack in the ice has now also developed.
You can see this crack in the image below:
(Image source: APL)
If you look to the left-hand side of this image, you can see a thin, black crack appearing in the distance.
APL has managed cameras near the north pole for years. This is the first time we’ve been able to see cracks and sections of open water from cameras located so close the central sea ice. These images are being taken in early June. A clear sign that the central ice is far more fragile than usual for this time of year, much less any time during summer whatsoever.