Athropolis HOME   |   Maps   |   Arctic Links   |   Arctic Library
Click to go HOME
From our library of things you should know about the Arctic

Click for more information.

Pack Ice Plugs Up Arctic

In winter, seawater freezes and forms a crust of ice called "pack ice". The area of floating ice, which makes up much of the ice cap in the Arctic Ocean, expands during winter to cover about 5% of the northern oceans and 8% of the southern oceans.

Pack ice consists of ice that formed both at sea and as fast ice (locked to the shore). It can be very flat (because the ocean is flat), but it is usually covered with very rough areas caused by the movement of sheets of ice against one other. These pressure ridges can increase the thickness of the ice from just a few inches or centimeters to tens of meters (many feet) thick.

Although pack ice moves with ocean currents and wind, it is not free-floating like ice-floes, and it is not always continuous. At times it can be very broken, with leads (cracks of open water) opening up without warning. The leads then refreeze, adding new ice throughout the winter.

For many years the covering of pack ice was seen mainly as a danger and an obstacle to trade. We now know that the sea ice not only dominates the polar regions and is important to global ocean circulation and climate patterns, but that the ice itself is now endangered because of global warming.

MORE...
Click pictures for more information and credits.
Library: Ice, Environment, Arctic
Links: Environment, Cold Places, Arctic
News Story: Warning Signs in the Arctic
Arctic Maps & Weather Reports


Double-click any unlinked word DICTIONARY: Just "double-click" any unlinked word on this page for the definition from Merriam-Webster's Student Electronic Dictionary at Word Central.
Arctic Library ARCTIC LIBRARY & GLOSSARY: Check this section for an index of the rest of the things you really need to know about the Arctic.
All sorts of Arctic Maps ARCTIC MAPS & WEATHER REPORTS: Maps of the Northwest Passage, explorers' routes, iceberg sources, Nunavut, the Arctic by treeline, temperature...
Links to related sites. ARCTIC LINKS: Even more information! Links to sites related to the Arctic and "Iceberg: the Story of the Throps and the Squallhoots".
A Guide to Arctic Sunrise and Sunset GUIDE TO ARCTIC SUNRISE & SUNSET: How much sunlight or darkness is there in the Arctic on each day of the year?

Search for more on this topic...from Athropolis!
(1) Click the button for Web (below) to search the World Wide Web
(2) Click button for
WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM to search this web site

 
Web WWW.ATHROPOLIS.COM
Icy Cold Jokes | Icy Games | E-mail | Athropolis HOME
Copyright 2005 Athropolis Productions Limited. The content of web sites that this site has links
to is the property of their respective owners, and Athropolis is not responsible for their content.