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Armed with Science, the U.S. Defense Department Science Blog, reports that “as diminishing sea ice in the Arctic Ocean expands navigable waters, scientists sponsored by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) have traveled to the region to study the changing environment—and provide new tools to help the U.S. Navy operate in a once-inaccessible area.”

“’This changing environment is opening the Arctic for expanded maritime and naval activity,’ said Rear Adm. Mat Winter, chief of naval research. ‘Developing a deeper understanding and knowledge of this environment is essential for reliable weather and ice predictions to ensure the safety of future scientific and operational activities in the region.’”

“A recent announcement from the National Snow and Ice Data Center revealed that 2016’s sea ice minimum—the annual measurement of when sea ice hits its lowest point— tied with 2007 for the second-lowest ice minimum since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s. The lowest minimum ever occurred in 2012.”

“ONR sponsored its scientific research through two initiatives within its Arctic and Global Prediction Program—Marginal Ice Zone, and Waves and Sea State. Additional research involved the program’s CANada Basin Acoustic Propagation Experiment (CANAPE) initiative.”

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