The event of a massive Arctic Sea Ice melting and turning into one of the members of the so called ‘liquid world’ is essentially tragic. This is one of the many, perhaps most prodigious, scenarios where we need to gather up together to find solutions. For the good and for the better. I hope the further shall encourage you, dear reader, to make a change!
The issue partially contains the result of climate change-driven heatwaves and warm winds that have swept the Northern Hemisphere this year, and among the short-term consequences, it could threaten the survival of Arctic seals and polar bears, scientists say.
Satellite imagery from NASA Worldview has shown the ice, which has become brittle and mobile, retreating back from the Northern coast of Greenland, blown aside by the wind in early August. This exposed a swath of sea that had previously been completely covered.
This region has been where climate scientists believe the last of the perennial ocean ice will linger. But now that it’s retreating, they may have to reconsider which part of the Arctic they believe will survive climate change the longest.
The unusually warm conditions earlier this year in February, and now again in August, have thinned the ice to a degree that it can be pushed by the wind.
Just before the August event, the Kap Morris Jesup weather station registered a record high of 17 degrees Celsius. Norwegian Ice Service data also show that ice cover in the Arctic is 40% below the average for this time of year.
This could devastate the local polar bear population, Wadhams said, as the steep cliffs on the north coast of Greenland is where a lot of the animals have their dens.
Other populations impacted could include seals, and local Indigenous groups that use the area for fishing. And there will be long-term effects too. Although the area will freeze over again, it will be later than usual.
The sea ice is not quite at its lowest recorded extent. That occurred in September 2012. However, it’s getting close. In March of this year, the extent of the sea ice was the second-lowest on record for winter.
And, according to NASA data, September Arctic sea ice – when it is typically at its lowest – is declining at a rate of 13.2 percent per decade.
This week, NASA’s Oceans Melting Greenland project will be returning to the Arctic waters around Greenland for its third year in a row gathering data on the frozen ecosystem, and how the oceans around Greenland are melting its glaciers.
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