Melting ice in the Arctic in focus on IICWG meeting

Last week, October 20-24, SMHI hosted the annual meeting of IICWG, International Ice Charting Working Group. IICWG consists of representatives for the sea ice services of the world, including experts on satellite images and ice forecast models. The meeting was held in Luleå, where the Swedish icebreaking fleet spends the summer.

In light of the record ice-melting observed in the Arctic over the last two summers, IICWG issued a press release.

It states that for the first time in recorded history, the North West Passage north of Canada and the Northern Sea Route off the Siberian coast were simultaneously open for a brief period in September this year. It also states that drifting icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland reached lower latitudes than normal, posing an increased threat to marine traffic.

Furthermore, the ice cover in the Baltic Sea during the latest ice season measured the smallest surface area since 1720.

IICWG News release