Polar bear on sea ice. Alaska, Beaufort Sea. / Courtesy NOAA National Ice Center, collection of Dr. Pablo Clemente-Colon

Record low sea ice — dramatically small Arctic sea ice maximum in March 2017

Arctic sea ice maximum hit a record low in March 2017. Arctic sea ice covered less area than it has any other year since satellite records began in 1979. This record low is the newest in a three-year string of record low Arctic sea ice maximums. Sea ice grows and dwindles with the polar seasons. […]

The community of Point Hope, Alaska shares bowhead whale flipper slices / © Clark James Mishler

Cultural wealth, Point Hope subsistence and sea ice

Whale fin slices in the hands of Point Hope locals are evidence of ancient tradition. Subsistence hunting and gathering provide food and raw materials which support rural Alaskan communities. Subsistence activities make possible customs and traditions… they help define culture. A warming Arctic and associated environmental changes threaten these ways of life. Photographer Clark James […]

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Seeing sea ice formation

The structure of an ice core tells a story about its life cycle; you can take a look and read it like a timeline. Geophysicist Andy Mahoney, assistant research professor in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, extracted a sea ice core offshore from Barrow, Alaska. He described how sea ice takes form. When […]

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Rough but not too rough sea ice

The scientists snapped small icicles off the underside of a chunk of sea ice that had broken away from its pack and rafted up onto the edge of another ice floe. Andrew Mahoney, geophysicist and assistant research professor in the University of Alaska Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, explained the icicles would taste incredibly salty. “It isn’t […]

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Drilling sea ice– extracting a sea ice core

Geophysicist Andy Mahoney balanced a cylinder of ice on the top of his boot for a moment as he extracted it from a drill barrel. The balancing act kept loose snow lying on top of the sea ice Mahoney stood on from attaching itself to the extracted ice’s surface. The ice core looked like art: […]

Beaufort Sea Arctic Sea Ice Field Science Coring

Standing on the Beaufort Sea – new sea ice videos

Whether from the perspective of a helicopter pilot, a research scientist, or a local whale hunter, sea ice is an impactful part of Arctic life. Visit Frontier Scientists to watch new videos: ‘Barrow Ready Waiting‘, ‘Buoys On Ice‘, ‘Standing on the Beaufort Sea‘, and ‘First Year Or Multi Year Ice‘. Geophysicist Andy Mahoney, assistant research […]

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Scraping the bottom with sea ice

“It was coming here to Barrow and going to the sea ice north of here that kept me focused on sea ice for the last 15 years,” Andy Mahoney told Frontier Scientists. Mahoney is a sea ice geophysicist and University of Alaska Fairbanks assistant research professor in geophysics. Thick sea ice Level sea ice might […]