What is the Arctic? What Defines it? (Don Perovich)

Video Shot in: 2009

Sea ice geophysicist Don Perovich notes that there are many different ways to define the Arctic, but what sets it apart is the perennial presence of ice, which includes sea ice in the ocean, large ice sheets on Greenland, glaciers around the entire Arctic, and permafrost frozen ground. He emphasizes that as the ice starts to melt, it changes the fundamental nature of the Arctic and its ecosystem. Perovich shares his experience with a program called ICECAPE, which aims to understand the impact of changing ice conditions on the changing biology and biogeochemistry of the Chukchi and Beaufort Seas. He also talks about his most memorable field experiment, the Sheba experiment (Surface Heat Budget of the Arctic Ocean), which involved freezing an icebreaker into the pack and letting it drift for a year to measure every parameter of the Sheba column. Perovich shares anecdotes about his time on the ship and his encounters with polar bears.