This toolkit is designed to support geography teaching from upper primary to college (UK: GCSE and A Level).

The Ice Recording Template is the core item in this toolkit and enables families and students to plot predicted and actual ice-depth using live or recorded data from the expedition. Click here to view that data.

Download the Ice Recording Template (PDF)

Scientists use super computers to predict the thickness of the ice, using weather data that shows how much heat is being taken away or taken to the ice from the air and water currents.

There are lots of variables: the accuracy of the weather data usually has some uncertainty, and the rules the scientists use to programme their supercomputers don’t exactly match the factors that affect ice melting. That’s because the influences contributing to the rate of melting are very complicated, for example snow cover insulates the ice and prevents it building up in the winter, and the salinity of the ice affects how easily it melts.

This means that the results produced by the supercomputers predicting ice thickness are as accurate an approximation as scientifically possible. The scientists and the Catlin Arctic Survey hope that, by comparing those results to actual measured ice thickness from Catlin Arctic Survey, the accuracy of the current supercomputer models can be enhanced and therefore assist in our understanding of how fast the ice is thinning.


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