Sea ice extent in the Arctic has been declining rapidly in recent years and, many people are looking to the newly open waters for new shipping routes and resources. For the Arctic to be viable for both resources and transportation, predictions on sea ice extent are necessary. Since the launch of passive microwave satellites in 1978 we have had access to accurate images of sea ice extent, but to improve predictions, we need to gather more data. In this study, we look back to times of observational data before satellites in a new data set from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and this study is one of the first to investigate the predictability of sea ice extent dating back to the 1800s. By looking at previous years, we can see how much the system in the Arctic has changed and that global warming is the driving factor for recent variability in sea ice extent. The effects of global warming have completely overtaken the natural climate variability in the Arctic. This warming has resulted in better correlations from sea ice extent for the months preceding September and may be able to provide us with better predictions than before.


Crawford, Alex





Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis



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