Tuesday, June 15, 2021

The Disappearing Arctic Ice

 An expedition involving 300 scientists from 20 countries led by Markus Rex said that the researchers had found that Arctic ice is retreating faster than ever before. The international expedition to the North Pole warned that the point could have already been reached at which irreversible global warming is triggered.

The expedition returned to Germany after 389 days drifting through the Arctic, bringing home devastating proof of a dying Arctic Ocean and warnings of ice-free summers in just decades. The ice was only half as thick and temperatures measured 10 degrees higher than during the Fram expedition undertaken by explorers and scientists Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen in the 1890s. Because of the smaller sea ice surface, the ocean was able to absorb more heat in the summer, in turn meaning that ice sheet formation in the autumn was slower than usual.

Rex said scientists found that the Arctic Ocean ice had retreated “faster in the spring of 2020 than since the beginning of records” and that “the spread of the sea ice in the summer was only half as large as decades ago.”

“The disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic is one of the first landmines in this minefield, one of the tipping points that we set off first when we push warming too far,” he said. “And one can essentially ask if we haven’t already stepped on this mine and already set off the beginning of the explosion.”

Global warming may have already passed irreversible tipping point | Climate News | Al Jazeera

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