Quick Bite: Arctic Current Events ​

10-minute clock icon Quick Bite: Arctic Current Events

Sea ice motion

Take a look at the figure to the right (click on it for a larger PDF version), which shows the motion of Arctic sea ice represented as vectors. Vectors are just arrows which point in the direction that something is going (in this case, the ice motion) and whose length represent the magnitude of something (in this case, how fast the ice is moving). Treating this figure like a connect-the-dots puzzle, can you connect vectors together to find the following main Arctic surface currents?:

  • Beaufort Gyre - a rotating current off the north coast of Canada and Alaska
  • Transpolar Drift - the main current that moves across the Arctic Ocean from Siberia to Greenland
  • Labrador Current - a strong current that flows south between Greenland and Canada
  • East Greenland Current - current that flows south along the eastern side of Greenland

Figure credit: NASA/NSIDC/DAAC/University of Colorado Tschudi, Meier, Stewart


View and download larger version of ice motion map