As Arctic sea ice declines towards its lowest extent for the year, people around the world are watching. Will the ice extent break another record this year? What would it mean if it does break a record? If it doesn’t break a record, does that mean the sea ice is recovering?
Many people will find their answers to these questions on the NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis Web site. Interested readers can follow the ups and downs of sea ice extent in near-real time, checking back daily for data updates. Once or twice a month, NSIDC scientists weigh in with their analysis of current conditions and highlights of related data and research, including from the broader science community. Scientists work with NSIDC communications staff to write clear, concise articles. The result is a unique source of scientific information that provides valuable real-time input for researchers around the world studying sea ice and the Arctic environment, but written in a way that is accessible to everyone, including the general public.
Making data available and understandable
Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis grew out of an effort to share information with journalists, during the record-low sea ice levels in 2007. But the site drew millions of visits, reaching a far broader audience than originally intended. Regular readers now include scientists, journalists, teachers, students, and the interested public. These readers have different views about science and the changing climate, but all are interested in sea ice data.
NSIDC primarily functions as a data center, archiving scientific data and making it available to scientists. But more and more, people are calling for transparency and openness in scientific data. Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis shows one way to do that. Making data available is of little use unless people can understand where it comes from and what it means.
Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis is partially funded by NASA.