Dramatic changes to polar ice caps revealed on new map of Arctic and Antarctica – Sky News


The new edition – with Antarctica on one side and the Arctic on the reverse – contains brand new sea ice extent data, updated towns and airports in the Arctic, and new ice shelf outlines in Antarctica.


Dramatic changes to the polar ice caps caused by climate change are being reflected in a new edition map of Antarctica and the Artic.

Produced by cartographers at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS), the flagship printed map needs updating regularly to keep track of the rapidly changing environments.

The new edition – with Antarctica on one side and the Arctic on the reverse – contains brand new sea ice extent data, updated towns and airports in the Arctic, and new ice shelf outlines in Antarctica after the recent calving of giant icebergs.

The Arctic map covers all land and ocean north of 60°N and has been refreshed, with every piece of information having been updated or checked.

The map now reflects the indigenous names of many towns in the Canadian Arctic including Sanirajak and Naujaat.

Physical changes include new ice fronts reflecting the retreat of many large glaciers flowing out from Greenland and Svalbard, and changes to lake extents as the landscapes around them adapt.

BAS cartographer Elena Field, who contributed to the map, said: “The Polar Regions are changing quickly, both from the effects of climate change and improved infrastructure and transport routes, so we need to frequently update these maps to keep up.

“In addition, better data on the geography from satellite imagery, gives us a bird’s eye view of the continent, which has now been mapped better than ever before.”



Image:
Extract of Antarctic Map showing sea ice extents for Ronne and Brunt ice shelves (British Antarctic Survey)

The maps are complimented by four inset maps showing permafrost and land cover which are important and fast-changing aspects of the Arctic landscape, and both sides have maps showing sea ice extent.

They show the 30-year average sea ice extent although these extents are changing year-on-year, especially in the Arctic.

A new recent 10-year average to compare against the 30-year average has been produced.


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