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Despite the significant increase in the Arctic icecap’s size this winter, satellite data of the icecap’s actual volume and thickness suggest that the new ice was quite thin.

The uncertainty of science: Despite the significant increase in the size of the Arctic Ocean’s icecap this winter, satellite data of the icecap’s actual volume and thickness suggest that the new ice was quite thin.

Prof Andy Shepherd, from Leeds University, said: “Now that we have three years of data, we can see that some parts of the ice pack have thinned more rapidly than others. At the end of winter, the ice was thinner than usual. Although this summer’s extent will not get near its all-time satellite-era minimum set last year, the very thin winter floes going into the melt season could mean that the summer volume still gets very close to its record low,” he told BBC News.

It is not surprising that the ice was thin, considering that the icecap was recovering from a record low the year before. The scientific question, however, is whether the cap will thicken in the coming years or continue to thin out. That it has recovered somewhat in size might be a onetime jump as the decline continues, or it might be indicative of a new growing trend.

Pioneer cover

From the press release: From the moment he is handed a possibility of making the first alien contact, Saunders Maxwell decides he will do it, even if doing so takes him through hell and back.

 
Unfortunately, that is exactly where that journey takes him.

The vision that Zimmerman paints of vibrant human colonies on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and beyond, indomitably fighting the harsh lifeless environment of space to build new societies, captures perfectly the emerging space race we see today.

He also captures in Pioneer the heart of the human spirit, willing to push forward no matter the odds, no matter the cost. It is that spirit that will make the exploration of the heavens possible, forever, into the never-ending future.

Available everywhere for $3.99 (before discount) at amazon, Barnes & Noble, all ebook vendors, or direct from the ebook publisher, ebookit. And if you buy it from ebookit you don't support the big tech companies and I get a bigger cut much sooner.

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