70 Trillion cubic feet of New Arctic Ice

Last updated on February 2nd, 2011


3-transitional images, Jan-2009, Jan-2010, Jan-2011

Comparing imagery of January arctic sea ice from 2009 to 2011 sourced from the U.S. Navy Polar Ice Prediction System, it appears as though the ice sheet has thickened substantially.

That is, the arctic ice during January 2009 compared to January 2010 compared to January 2011, all purposefully compared during the same month of each year.

This observation is looking at ice thickness – not surface area – although some retreat of 1 meter ice can be seen in the Labrador Sea.

Up to 500,000 square miles of the arctic sea region may have thickened from approximately 5 feet thick during January 2009 to approximately 10 feet thick during January 2011.

The ice thickness scale color, dark blue, corresponds to about 1.5 meters, or about 5 feet.

The color green represents about 3 meters, or about 10 feet.

The estimated area that has changed from dark blue to green measures approximately 500,000 square miles based on approximated Google Earth ruler measurements (1,500 miles length by a bit more than 300 miles width, on average – call it 333).

At an increased thickness of 5 feet, that calculates out to be…
500,000 x (5,280 x 5280) x 5 = 69,626,304,000,000

might as well round it to 70,000,000,000,000 cubic feet

It’s getting colder out there!

…which may bring about an entirely new preparedness category
“mini Ice Age”

(actually, we are well within a ‘La Nina’ cycle – cooling of the tropical Pacific Ocean surface)

An interesting ‘coincidence’ is that the magnetic north pole drift direction is nearly the same as the increase in ice sheet depth.

Update, Just for fun, I decided to also capture and loop 3 additional images – one each from Sep-2008, Sep-2009, Sep-2010, to see whether or not a similar apparent increase in ice thickness was visible during that time of year, similar to what is evident while comparing the January ‘winter’ images.

I took the liberty of circling the ‘green’ areas of each image, which represents ice thickness of about 10 feet and greater (3 meters +).

Sep-2008 vs. Sep-2009, looks like the ’09 slide may have a bit more thick ice – pretty close – there’s certainly more ‘light blue’ building up (2 meter ice)

Sep-2009 vs. Sep-2010, looks like the ’10 slide definitely has more of the thick ice

That’s my own interpretation with my eyes though – you be the judge.

3-transitional images, Sep-2008, Sep-2009, Sep-2010

Note: The curiosity to look at recent Arctic ice was born from this winter’s extra cold and precipitation in parts of the northern hemisphere – no attempts are made to calculate the overall sea ice change (globally, or in the entire northern hemisphere) or infer anything prior to 3 years. The January map loop shows slight reduction at southwest Greenland (Labrador Sea), some reduction in Hudson Bay, while some increase at northeast Greenland (Greenland Sea) – possibly an overall neutral effect there. The vast majority of apparent change is in the Arctic Ocean.

By the way, if anyone notices… the URL link to this article refers to 13 billion cubic feet while the title refers to 70 trillion… that was an error on my part (the 13 billion), but I corrected the error and title, minutes after having first posted it (while the URL remains the same). I had left out a critical multiple in the formula – that is, 5280 x 5280 to get proper square footage per square mile, whereas the original calculation mistakenly used only ‘5280’ one time. Rest assured, the estimate is now correct. You can run the math yourself…

If you enjoyed this, or topics of preparedness, geophysical – current events – risks, consider our survival blog RSS feed, new posts by E-mail, or bookmark us at Modern Survival Blog



  1. Lilly 01/25/2011
    • Frank N Stein 12/13/2013
  2. zach 01/25/2011
  3. Rafael Edgar Neville Morales 01/25/2011
  4. Joe Nytro 01/25/2011
  5. annon 01/26/2011
  6. Jerry 01/26/2011
    • ken - Modern Survival Blog 01/26/2011
  7. Louise 01/26/2011
  8. Gordon 01/26/2011
  9. Anya 01/27/2011
    • Frank N Stein 12/13/2013
  10. Dutch 01/27/2011
  11. Anti-Con 01/27/2011
    • Sam E 03/26/2015
  12. Anti-Con 01/27/2011
  13. Kyle 01/27/2011
  14. John D 01/27/2011
  15. John D 01/27/2011
  16. Oldtimer 01/27/2011
    • Giovanny 07/16/2012
      • Frank N Stein 12/13/2013
  17. Joseph Archie 01/27/2011
  18. Toni 01/27/2011
  19. EyesWideOpen 01/27/2011
  20. Bubba the Ice-Bound 01/27/2011
    • Frank N Stein 12/13/2013
  21. peter 01/27/2011
  22. Bobunleashed 01/27/2011
  23. OffWorldExperience 01/27/2011
  24. lhierckens 01/28/2011
    • ken - Modern Survival Blog 01/28/2011
  25. Roz Rayner-Rix 01/28/2011
  26. Larry B. 01/28/2011
  27. Steve 01/29/2011
    • ken - Modern Survival Blog 01/29/2011
  28. Ted 01/29/2011
  29. Eddie 01/30/2011
  30. Eddie 01/30/2011
  31. DM 02/02/2011
  32. ME 02/02/2011
  33. nonbeliever 02/07/2011
  34. Believer 02/15/2011
  35. Chris 02/18/2011
  36. Landon 02/18/2011
  37. Craig Dillon 03/26/2011
  38. Silverlok 06/06/2011
    • ken (Modern Survival Blog) 06/06/2011
  39. Old Rocks 07/15/2011
  40. Nick 12/10/2011

Leave a Reply

Use Open-forum for off topic conversation
Your email address will not be published