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Thread: Why isn't Arctic Sea Ice as thick as Antarctic?

  1. #1 Why isn't Arctic Sea Ice as thick as Antarctic? 
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    When the both pole has same temperature(thousands year,million year or billion year ago)
    In the antartica,snow accumulate and become ice.After many year,a very thick ice(average 2km) is formed.
    But in the Arctic,the sea ice is mostly formed in the winter.I guess,Snow also accumulate on the sea ice and form a thick ice like the ice in the antartica.Why the sea ice's maximum thickness is less than 1km?Simply,why the sea ice cannot be thicker like the ice in the antartica?
    If you answer me:
    the sea ice will to warmer ocean...

    i will reply you:
    it is only for drift ice.There are also has multi-year ice or fast ice.They will not float to the warmer ocean.

    If you answer me:
    the sea ice will melt in the summer..
    I will reply you:
    the ice in the antartica also will melt.
    (DON'T SAY THE SOUTH POLE IS COLDER THAN NORTH POLE...because both pole's temperature are little difference onlt in the thousand...or million year ago..)

    SO..WHY???????


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  3. #2  
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    Nobody know?????I think....This question is challenge the scientist..haha..


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  4. #3  
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    Antarctica is a continent, the arctic is not.
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  5. #4  
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    Reply to moderator:
    Why the thick ice can form in continent but not sea?(Don't say the sea ice will flow to warm ocean and south pole is colder than north pole)see the post above
    can you explain away to me
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  6. #5  
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    Because water has a greater specific heat and heat capacity than land?
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    I could only guess the reason. This should be discussed in another subforum. I can only imagine that snow can accumulate much better on solid ground than on water. Saltwater also can attain lower temperatures than sweet water like snow before it freezes. Arctic ice is mostly frozen sea water, but the ice in Antarctica and all glaciers is sweet water that originates from precipitation. Therefore, you need lower temperatures in the arctic to start forming ice than what is needed in Antarctica.
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  8. #7  
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    thank you to moderator
    can others help me...
    i imagine:
    when the sufficient snow accumulate on the sea ice,the heavy snow will make the sea ice sink.(like we use our finger to press the ice into the water although the ice is less dense than sea water)We know that the water under the ice is warmer so they(sea water) cannot freeze.the warmer ice will make the ice melt.
    (but this imaganation has some mistake,because why the 9/10 parts of sea ice will not melt when there are no snow on the ice..)
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  9. #8  
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~James~
    We know that the water under the ice is warmer so they(sea water) cannot freeze.the warmer ice will make the ice melt.
    Hmm, aren't you forgetting something? Although sweet water freezes at higher temperatures than salt water, it does not mean that sweet water ice is warmer than salt water ice. As soon as ice is formed, it can cool down even more, because the ambient temperature (the air/atmosphere) is colder than the freezing point. I imagine that there will be an equilibrium of temperatures (or better heat) between sweet water ice and salt water ice that are both cooled down by the cold air. The only difference I could think of are the properties of the ices formed.
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  10. #9  
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    As mentioned earlier, the salt water needs to be colder than 0 degrees C to freeze, due to the salt content. However, once it melts it pushes most of the salt out and you are left with mostly fresh water ice (I believe, please correct me if I am wrong.) Since the fresh water ice doesn't require as cold temperatures to freeze, it would be less likely to melt. It would therefor be able to retain its mass even when the water warms up slightly due to ocean currents and/or energy from the sun.

    The ocean could be at say, -1 degree C which might be too warm to freeze salt water, but plenty cold enough to keep the mostly fresh water ice from melting.
    Always minimize the variables.

    Semper Paratus
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  11. #10  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Haasum
    As mentioned earlier, the salt water needs to be colder than 0 degrees C to freeze, due to the salt content. However, once it melts it pushes most of the salt out and you are left with mostly fresh water ice (I believe, please correct me if I am wrong.) Since the fresh water ice doesn't require as cold temperatures to freeze, it would be less likely to melt. It would therefor be able to retain its mass even when the water warms up slightly due to ocean currents and/or energy from the sun.

    The ocean could be at say, -1 degree C which might be too warm to freeze salt water, but plenty cold enough to keep the mostly fresh water ice from melting.
    You are right..but i think the content of salt of water below sea ice is very high due to the sea ice push most of the salt out,so the water below sea ice has lower freezing point.The sea ice has prevent the heat released by water under the sea ice,so the water below sea ice is warmer.Lastly,the water below sea ice is very hard to freeze because of its high salt content and the blocking of sea ice to prevent the water below sea ice release heat.
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  12. #11  
    3s
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    thickness of ice is ice forming in winter minus ice melting in summer
    specific heat earth < specific heat water (land will insulate the cold ice better)
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  13. #12  
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    there are more ice melt in the antartica(In the summer)....
    i know that :
    SUMMER:the area of sea ice in the antartica>the area of sea ice in the arctic ocean
    WINTER:the area of sea ice in the antartica<the area of sea ice in the arctic ocean

    http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/difference.html
    -a website that tell us about sea ice in arctic and antartic
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  14. #13  
    Geo
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    From http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/difference.html

    Water from the Pacific Ocean and several rivers in Russia and Canada provide fresher, less dense water to the Arctic Ocean. So the Arctic Ocean has a layer of cold, fresh water near the surface with warmer, saltier water below. This cold, fresh water layer typically allows more ice growth in the Arctic than the Antarctic.
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  15. #14  
    3s
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    the south pole is land with ice on top
    the north pole is just ice floating in the ocean
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  16. #15  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Geo
    From http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/difference.html

    Water from the Pacific Ocean and several rivers in Russia and Canada provide fresher, less dense water to the Arctic Ocean. So the Arctic Ocean has a layer of cold, fresh water near the surface with warmer, saltier water below. This cold, fresh water layer typically allows more ice growth in the Arctic than the Antarctic.
    this is used to explain the sea ice in both pole only..the ice in the antartica is very thick(average1600m..so crazy)..
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  17. #16  
    Geo
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    Quote Originally Posted by ~James~
    Quote Originally Posted by Geo
    From http://nsidc.org/seaice/characteristics/difference.html

    Water from the Pacific Ocean and several rivers in Russia and Canada provide fresher, less dense water to the Arctic Ocean. So the Arctic Ocean has a layer of cold, fresh water near the surface with warmer, saltier water below. This cold, fresh water layer typically allows more ice growth in the Arctic than the Antarctic.
    this is used to explain the sea ice in both pole only..the ice in the antartica is very thick(average1600m..so crazy)..
    Okay. My answer was about sea ice. The Arctic sea ice is on average 3m thick, in the Antarctic it's 2m thick, for the reason stated above. We can compare sea ice from both poles. Why bother comparing continental ice with sea ice?

    Quote Originally Posted by ~James~
    so crazy
    Not really.
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  18. #17  
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    ~Reply To Geo~
    I compare the sea ice with the continental ice because:
    i really want to know why south pole is colder than north pole..the main reason is the south pole is located in the antartica and north pole is located in arctic sea.the antartica is the highest continent in the world.the higher the place,the lower the temperature.
    Antartica is the highest continent because it has very thick ice!so i just search how the ice in the antartica form...snow accumulate and become ice...after many year,the thick ice form.but i think,why the sea ice in the arctic cannot be thick like ice in the antartica??????
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  19. #18  
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    8)
    who ever go to both pole..you may be know..can you help me..?
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