Recently appointed Professor of Climate Science and Meteorology, Edward Hanna, was featured on BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Weather Show with Paul Hudson.

Professor Hanna has been studying the Greenland ice sheet for the past 20 years and he joined Paul to discuss the issue of Arctic Sea Ice; currently at its lowest winter maximum extent ever observed since Satellite records begain in 1979. Shocking figures show that more than 2 million sq/km of mid-winter Sea Ice has disappeared from the Arctic in less than 40 years. The Arctic is at risk of being ‘ice -free’ if coverage falls below 1 million sq/km.

Prof Edward Hanna on a field visit to the Greenland Ice Sheet, 2012
Prof Edward Hanna on a fieldtrip to the Greenland Ice Sheet, 2012

Discussing the significance of this latest data, Professor Hanna said, “February this year saw the Sea Ice extent fall 8% below the average February extent for 1981 to 2010. Since 1979, there has been an 11% or so decline overall in this winter Sea Ice. This is directly linked to the very strong Warming we’ve seen over much of the Arctic ocean region, particularly exacerbated during the past 2 winters.”

It was recorded that temperatures across the Arctic were 20 degrees higher than normal, Prof Hanna said this Warming is largely related to “…the breakdown in the Northern hemisphere polar vortex, which is a mass of cold air and low pressure, normally formed over the Arctic region each winter – this has become less intense and more broken in the last few winters…”

Some of Professor Hanna’s visits to Greenland have been very useful for putting his research into the mass balance of the Ice Sheet.

You can listen to the radio show online from 10m 40s- please note this link expires on Tuesday 11th April 2017.