Arctic sea ice is thinning twice as fast as previously thought

In 2011, when oceanographer and Greenpeace activist Rose George led a team of researchers on a landmark expedition to the Arctic to study the decline of Arctic ice, they arrived to find a region that was a frozen wasteland. On their way back, however, the ship encountered a much more pleasant sight: a thick sea of ice.

Arctic sea ice extent is the area of ocean covered by ice, and dropped to its lowest point on record this year. The new record low is an impressive 2.17 million square miles, 1.9 million square miles less than the previous record. Furthermore, the annual low is twice as large as the average low of the previous decade, and the ice is thinning twice as fast as previous studies. The research is extremely important, and has important implications for the future of climate change. We have to start lowering our greenhouse gas emissions right now if we want to stop a warming of the planet.

The Arctic sea ice is reaching a record low extent, and this is an alarming trend. This is an issue that is crucial for the Earth’s climate, since the sea ice’s disappearance is stripping the planet of an important piece of insulation that helps to regulate the planet’s temperature.

word-image-3635 Researchers in the UK have used computer models to determine how fast the coastal ice in the Arctic seas is melting. The rapidly melting ice will create new space for oil and gas exploration in the Arctic, but at the same time increase the number of natural disasters in other regions, a new study shows. These are the findings of a new study by experts at University College London. The results of this scientific work were published in the journal The Cryosphere. The last time Soviet expeditions calculated the thickness of sea ice was between 1954 and 1991, according to The Guardian. At the time, a map of the Arctic snowpack was used to determine the thickness of the ice. They also calculated the pressure of the snow on the sea ice, which causes the sea ice to drop. The scientists point out that the figures on the map are no longer relevant today and are severely outdated due to global warming. The calculations are now carried out by immersing the ice in water. Ice in coastal marine areas appears to be melting 70-100% faster than previously thought. In addition, thin ice can melt quickly during an Arctic summer. Under these conditions, the ocean will also begin to warm in the winter, increasing the rate of melting of the glaciers.

Research data

Researchers used modern methods to calculate the thickness of sea ice. One example is the unique radar on the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 satellite, which can calculate how long it takes for radar waves to be reflected by the ice. This allows one to calculate the height of the ice above the water and know the total thickness. Another scientific method was computer simulation, which allowed us to estimate snow depth and density for different years from 2002 to 2018. By combining these data, British scientists have estimated the total decrease in sea ice thickness in the Arctic. The result was that the rate of melting in the coastal seas increased in comparison with previous calculations as follows: in the seven coastal seas – on average by 58%; in the Laptev Sea – by 70%; in the Kara Sea – by 98%; in the Chukchi Sea – by 110%.

Effects of rapidly melting Arctic ice

According to the authors of the scientific article, the thickness of the ice determines the health of the Arctic. The thicker ice acts as an insulating blanket: It prevents the ocean from heating up the atmosphere in winter and protects it from the sun’s rays in summer. However, the rapid melting of Arctic ice will cause the ocean to warm even in winter, accelerating global warming. Changes in the Arctic also affect extreme weather events, such as heat waves and floods in the Northern Hemisphere. However, the accelerated melting of the ice also has positive consequences. In particular, the sea route from Northeast China to Europe will be shorter, resulting in lower carbon dioxide emissions. In addition, there will be new oil and gas extraction areas in the Arctic. ALL RIGHTS RESERVEDA new study by an international team of researchers has found that Arctic sea ice is thinning twice as fast as previously thought. In fact, the thickness of the sea ice has dropped by at least 10 percent in the last four decades. The results of the study are published in the journal Nature Climate Change.. Read more about loss of sea ice by melting in the arctic ocean mcq and let us know what you think.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Arctic sea ice increasing or decreasing?

Scientists have been keeping a close eye on Arctic Ocean sea ice thinning for nearly four decades, but the data gaps were so large that they could only get a rough sense of how fast the ice pack was dwindling. Now, however, researchers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) are getting much more detailed information, thanks in part to new technology. The research team has been studying the Arctic’s ice pack for the past 18 months using the NSIDC’s airborne probe, the researcher’s data, and a new model that can generate a more accurate picture of the ice pack’s characteristics. The researchers found that the ice pack is shrinking about 20 percent faster than previously estimated—and could be gone by midcentury. ~~ File this one under “Arctic sea ice news you can’t un-see.” The Arctic has been getting very cold lately. According to new analysis of satellite data, sea ice there has been thinning twice as fast as previously thought.

Why do you think sea ice has been declining in the Arctic?

Arctic sea ice is a major contributor to global warming, and with each summer loss, it becomes more difficult to keep global temperatures at a reasonable level. Sea ice is crucial to maintaining the planet’s balance, and with each year that it shrinks, the chances of an abrupt climate change increase. Arctic sea ice is melting at an accelerating rate due to human-caused warming, and Arctic sea ice thickness in 2015 was the lowest on record since satellite monitoring began in 1979. This graphic shows the surface extent of Arctic sea ice as of February 1, 2015 at 7 a.m. EST. Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center/Cory Richards

Why is the Arctic melting so fast?

In the summer of 2016, one of the most striking images of the planet was that of a square of ice. It was a surprisingly clear picture of the Arctic sea ice, a relatively small section of the planet’s surface that holds the most intense and mysterious secrets of our climate. The Arctic is the fastest-melting part of the planet, and now researchers have discovered a new reason: the ocean’s surface is warming even faster than previously thought. This in turn is causing the sea ice to melt even faster, which has had an effect on the Arctic’s weather patterns. The researchers suggest that this effect will only continue to intensify as the planet warms and the sea ice continues to melt.

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