Monday, July 15, 2024

Scientists are sounding the alarm: the first ice-free summer in the Arctic is approaching

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In a new study, scientists have found that one of the most visible signs of a warming climate, the melting of polar ice caps, may appear a decade earlier than expected, even as the planet’s emissions are gradually reduced.

The first recorded summer in which all of the Arctic’s floating sea ice melts could happen in the next decade, a decade earlier than researchers had predicted, according to a new scientific study.

The peer-reviewed findings, published Tuesday, show that such climate change is likely to occur even if countries manage to cut greenhouse gas emissions more decisively, according to the report.The New York Times.

Previous projections found that strong action to slow global warming would be enough to keep summer ice at bay.

When it comes to Arctic sea ice, recent research suggests that only sharp reductions in emissions can reverse the warming effects already underway.

Risk melts

As sea ice has declined in recent decades, communities, ecosystems and economies around the world are grappling with the consequences.

Sea ice reflects solar radiation back into space, so the less ice there is, the faster the Arctic will warm.

As a result, Greenland’s ice sheet is melting rapidly and global sea levels are rising.

The temperature difference between the Arctic and the Equator also affects storm tracks and wind speeds in the mid-latitudes, meaning that warming in the Arctic can affect extreme rainfall and heat waves in temperate regions of North America, Europe, and Asia.

Nadia Barnett
Nadia Barnett
"Award-winning beer geek. Extreme coffeeaholic. Introvert. Avid travel specialist. Hipster-friendly communicator."

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