Exciting change is on the way! Please join us at nsf.gov for the latest news on NSF-funded research. While the NSF Science360 page and daily newsletter have now been retired, there’s much happening at nsf.gov. You’ll find current research news on the homepage and much more to explore throughout the site. Best of all, we’ve begun to build a brand-new website that will bring together news, social media, multimedia and more in a way that offers visitors a rich, rewarding, user-friendly experience.

Want to continue to receive email updates on the latest NSF research news and multimedia content? On September 23rd we’ll begin sending those updates via GovDelivery. If you’d prefer not to receive them, please unsubscribe now from Science360 News and your email address will not be moved into the new system.

Thanks so much for being part of the NSF Science360 News Service community. We hope you’ll stay with us during this transition so that we can continue to share the many ways NSF-funded research is advancing knowledge that transforms our future.

For additional information, please contact us at NewsTravels@nsf.gov

Top Story

More than 100 years of Arctic sea ice volume reconstructed from ships' logbooks

Our knowledge of dwindling sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean comes mostly through satellites, which have imaged sea ice from above since 1979. The University of Washington Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean and Modeling System is a leading tool for gauging the thickness of that ice. Until now the system has gone back only as far as 1979. A new paper extends the estimate of Arctic sea ice volume back more than a century, to 1901. To do so, the scientists used both modern-day computer simulations and historic observations, some written by hand in the early 1900s aboard precursors to today's U.S. Coast Guard ships. It allows scientists to put more recent variability and ice loss in perspective, according to the lead researcher. During the early 20th century, rare direct observations of sea ice were done by U.S. Revenue cutters, the precursors to Coast Guard ships, and by Navy ships that have cruised through the Arctic each year since 1879. In what's known as the Old Weather project, university researchers and their collaborators have been working with citizen scientists to transcribe weather entries in digitized historic U.S. ships' logbooks to recover unique climate records. The new study is the first to use the logbooks' observations of sea ice. "This is an exciting use of historical records to expand what we know about the past Arctic environment," said Cynthia Suchman, a program director in NSF's Office of Polar Programs, which funded the research.

Visit Website | Image credit: Courtesy of Coast Guard Museum Northwest