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12 March, 2001

Back in the "Thick" of It

Good morning from Fairbanks everyone! The temperatures hovered around 0C (32F) yesterday - a little worrisome for ice researchers. Dr. Jeffries commented that this is the 4th warmest winter on record! How has that affected lake ice growth? What impacts will that have on the tundra's permafrost and on Arctic ecosystems?

YOU can become part of the research team by looking at the trends in ice thicknesses over the past two winter seasons and by using those data in order to predict the average (mean) thickness for this month (March, 2001.) For more background on rising Arctic temperatures go to:


or to http://nsidc.org/sotc/



Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to graph the Poker Flat ice thickness data that is provided below in a way that will allow you to COMPARE the ice growth over the two seasons. Since ice growth occurs between October and March, you do not need to include the summer months on the x-axis (independent variable.) Your dependent variable will, of course, be ice thickness--in centimeters. First plot the data from 1999-2000 and then plot the data from 2000-2001. If you place your two plots on the same graph they will be easier to compare. (EXTRA CREDIT for using an analysis program like Excel!) You will notice that the data for this month is, of course, MISSING! Use your graphs to help you make a specific PREDICTION of what Marchís mean (average) thickness will be in CENTIMETERS. If you are a student of mine, submit your predictions to Ms. Azzone. If you are NOT a student of mine, submit your prediction via email to marjorie.a.porter@snet.net . GOOD LUCK!

Date Mean IceThickness(cm) Date Mean Ice Thickness(cm)

11/1/99 20.52 10/20/00 15.9

11/5/99 25.27 10/26/00 22.83

11/15/99 29.21 11/1/00 26.83

11/18/99 30.37 11/9/00 32.67

12/7/99 42.56 11/16/00 33.17

12/15/99 47.1 11/22/00 34.83

12/22/99 52.57 11/29/00 40.5

1/4/00 58.9 12/6/00 41.5

1/10/00 58.43 12/14/00 43.0

1/12/00 62.91 12/19/00 44.7

1/28/00 66.05 1/11/01 50.2

2/2/00 64.63 1/18/01 52.0

2/17/00 51.83 1/24/01 53.8

2/25/00 56.3 2/1/01 54.3

3/3/00 78.71 2/8/01 56.67

3/10/00 77.06 2/16/01 57.5

3/21/00 72.09 2/22/01 58.0

3/23/00 82.65

3/28/00 75.37

How thick will this year's ice cores be? Submit your prediction for March's mean thickness to marjorie.a.porter@snet.net. PRIZES INVOLVED! _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com

Teachers from Fairbanks prepare to measure ice thickness. How close will your prediction be? _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com

Fairbanks teacher Becky Adams and Dr. Martin Jeffries get serious about ice thickness. _________________________________________________________________ Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com

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