GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

NOAA GFDL Climate Research Highlights Image Gallery

The Shrinking Arctic Ice Cap

Return to the main NOAA GFDL Climate
Research Highlights web page

CONTENTS
2-D Graphics & Maps
Animations & Movies
contacts:
  • GFDL scientist contacts for this topic:
    Michael Winton, NOAA/GFDL
    Keith Dixon, NOAA/GFDL
  • GFDL Communications Officer: Maria Setzer, NOAA/GFDL
  • Animations and graphics developed by: Remik Ziemlinski and Keith Dixon

Contact information (email, phone numbers) can be found for these people by entering their names into the NOAA Staff Directory.

The materials presented here help illustrate some of the key research results that GFDL scientists have reported on recently. These graphics are considered to be in the public domain, and thus can be downloaded freely. We do request that if these images are used in publications or media broadcasts credit be given to “NOAA Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory” or at least “NOAA GFDL“.

 2-D Graphics and Maps
[GFDL CM2.1 Arctic Sea Ice climate change vertical]

ABOVE: 314 x 681 png [87KB]Also available in the following form:

figure caption:
Sea ice concentrations simulated by the GFDL CM2.1 global coupled climate model averaged over August, September and October (the months when Arctic sea ice concentrations generally are at a minimum). Three years (1885, 1985 & 2085) are shown to illustrate the model-simulated trend. A dramatic reduction of summertime sea ice is projected, with the rate of decrease being greatest during the 21st century portion. The colors range from dark blue (ice free) to white (100% sea ice covered).


[GFDL CM2.1 Arctic sea ice image]

ABOVE: 314 x 681 png [87KB]

Also available in the following form:

figure caption
Same as for figure directly above.

 


 

[GFDL CM2.1 Arctic Sea Ice time series graph]

 

ABOVE: 630 x 429 png [40KB]

 

Also available as

figure caption
Summertime Arctic-wide sea ice extent simulated by the GFDL CM2.1 model for the historical period 1860 to 2000 and projected for the 21st century following the SRES A1B emissions scenario. Sea ice extent values are normalized (scaled) so that the average for years 1981 to 2000 is equal to 100%. Totally ice free summer conditions would equal 0%.

 

 Animations and Movies
[frame from animation of NOAA GFDL Arctic sea ice model projection for 2040]
Animations of the type indicated by the picture above are available in three different sizes.

Select an icon below to access the animation described to its right. In many cases we provide multiple versions of an animation, including a version using the mpg-4 format (well-suited for Windows Media Player viewing) and another in .mov format that is well-suited for viewing with QuickTime player. (Clicking the picture above will direct you to the smallest animation in mpg-4 format.)

[wmp icon]640 x 360 resolution, mpg-4 format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [0.8MB]

[wmp icon]1280 x 720 resolution, mpg-4 format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [2.1MB]

[quicktime icon]1280 x 720 resolution, .mov format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [2.3MB]

[wmp icon]1920 x 1080 resolution, mpg-4 format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [4.1MB]

 

[quicktime icon]1920 x 1080 resolution, .mov format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [3.7MB]
animation description
The globe on the right side of the animation depicts the sea ice concentration simulated by the GFDL CM2.1 global coupled climate model averaged over August, September and October of each year (the months of the year when Northern Hemisphere sea ice concentrations generally are at a minimum). Sea ice concentration is a measure of how much of the area is covered by sea ice, and is shown here for CM2.1 in part because it looks most like what a satellite sees. The colors on the globe range from dark blue (ice free) to white (100 percent ice covered).

The graph on the right side shows how the Northern Hemisphere summer sea ice extent varies over time in this model simulation. The thick tan curve extends from the start of the simulation to the year shown on the globe. (The frame displayed above the right was taken from year 2040.) A value of 1.0 on the vertical axis corresponds to the average Arctic sea ice extent the model simulated for August through October during the twenty year period 1981 to 2000. A year with a value of 1.4 indicates that 40% more of the model’s Arctic was covered with sea ice that year than was the case for the average from 1981 to 2000. Similarly, a value of 0.6 indicates a 40% reduction in sea ice extent compared to the 1981 to 2000 average. Note that by the end of the 21st century, the modeled summer sea ice extent in the Arctic is less than 20 percent of the 1981 to 2000 average.


[frame from animation of NOAA GFDL Arctic sea ice model projection for 2040]

Animations of the type indicated by the picture above are available in one size.

The animation is 720 x 720 resolution – twice the size of the images shown directly above.

We provide both an mpg-4 format animation (well-suited for Windows Media Player viewing) and and a .mov format animation that is well-suited for viewing with QuickTime player. (Clicking the picture above will direct you to the .mov format version.)

[wmp icon]720 x 720 resolution, mpg-4 format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [2.1MB]
[quicktime icon]

720 x 720 resolution, .mov format, 240 frames total, 40 seconds at 6 fps [2.0MB]
animation caption:
This animation is identical to the one described above, except this one only shows the globe, and not the graph of the time varying Arctic sea ice extent. Please refer to the description above for more information.