- The rate of Arctic melting is accelerating. Since 2019, there has been a decrease in long-term sea ice thickness of up to 16%.
- The volume of sea ice has decreased by a third over the past 18 years
- Researchers fear that this rapid ice loss will continue, which could exacerbate the negative effects of climate change around the world and disrupt ocean currents.
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Thickness decreases by 16%. in three years
Information published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal “Geophysical Research Letters” shows that in 2021 Permafrost was 50 cm thinner than in 2019. This means that in just three years there has been a decrease in its thickness of about 16%. It is true that seasonal ice appears in its place, but it is less permanent and disappears completely in the summer. On the other hand, data covering the past 18 years indicates that on time ice The Arctic Ocean has lost a third of its volume. These are numbers that were hard to imagine in the past. No previous research has shown that the rate of fusion is very fast.
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“We did not expect such a decline”
Scientists are concerned that such a rapid decrease in the thickness of permafrost and its replacement by less permanent seasonal ice They will be more violent in the future. As the data show, even 40 years ago, the ice surface in February regularly exceeded 16 million square kilometers. Since the beginning of the current century, it has remained less than 14.5-15 million square kilometers. The downward trend is currently 2.8% 10 years.
Arctic sea ice surface in recent years
– We did not expect such a decline – said Sahra Qasemi, a polar explorer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. It may cause such rapid loss of ice cover Huge modifications to Earth’s ecosystems will occur overnight. maybe They will speed up weather changes. Scientists also fear that It will disturb ocean currents. This, in turn, may be related to changes in the oceans and disturbances in weather systems, particularly in Europe and North America. This would negatively affect many sectors of the economy, from agriculture to tourism.
The extent of the disappearance of the Arctic ice sheet is also shown by the current plot of its surface area compared to averages. The blue line that defines the current winter It is clearly lower than the others. Moreover, it can already be seen A slow downtrend in the ice surface, although it usually begins only in April.
Arctic sea ice extent in recent months
Pessimistic variants published by scientists already assume this In the middle of this century we will see summer in it North Pole It will be completely free of ice, Also for many years. All we can do now is Try to reduce the combustion of fossil fuels. Every action is important and this problem cannot be underestimated.
Every little action counts, change your habits and reduce your carbon footprint for the benefit of the planet. We’ve already done it – as of May 2021, all Ringier Axel Springer Polska brands have zero carbon emissions. We must work together. The planet can’t wait.
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