Friday, May 24, 2013

Arctic Ice Station Evacuates

Russia is hoping to stage an orderly evacuation of its floating North Pole-40 research station. An evacuation was ordered three months early after the ice the station is built on broke in two pieces. The research team had difficulty even finding a site for the station last October after a record-setting ice melt, as ice that looked solid when viewed from a distance proved to be less than stable when the ship arrived and ice researchers viewed it close up. In April 2012 the station had to be moved to an adjacent ice floe after ice started to break, but this time, that was considered too risky. Probably an ice-breaker will be sent to move the station to Severnaya Zemlya, a large island in the far north of Russia.

It is another measure of the decline of Arctic sea ice that you can no longer safely build on it. So far this season, ice measures are tracking close to those of last year. This is not encouraging news, as last year broke essentially all records for Arctic ice melt.