April 17, 2024

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Scientists say an ice-free summer in the Arctic is possible within the next decade  North Pole

Scientists say an ice-free summer in the Arctic is possible within the next decade North Pole

The Arctic could see summer days with virtually no sea ice within the next decade due to emissions from burning fossil fuels, a study has found.

Scientists said this would transform the unique habitat, home to polar bears, seals and walruses, from “Arctic white” to “Arctic blue” during the summer months. The calculation used to describe “ice-free” means less than a million square kilometers, in which case the Arctic would be mostly water.

Published results In Nature Reviews Earth & EnvironmentThese results suggest that the first ice-free day in the Arctic may occur more than 10 years earlier than previously predicted.

September is expected to be continuously ice-free by 2035 to 2067, the authors said. The exact year within that period depends on how quickly the world reduces the amount of fossil fuels burned.

By the end of the century, ice-free conditions are likely to exist between May and January under a high-emissions scenario, and from August to October under a low-emissions scenario.

“This would turn the Arctic into a completely different environment, from a white summer Arctic to a blue Arctic,” said Alexandra Jahn, associate professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder and lead author of the research. Therefore, even if ice-free conditions are unavoidable, we still need to keep our emissions as low as possible to avoid ice-free conditions for a long time.

She added that there is a possibility to fix this problem.

“Unlike the Greenland ice sheet, which took thousands of years to form, even if we melted all the sea ice in the Arctic, if we could figure out how to absorb carbon dioxide2 “If sea ice returns to the atmosphere in the future to reverse the warming trend, sea ice will return within a decade,” Jahn said.

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Not only will Arctic wildlife suffer as their habitat melts; People living on the coast will also suffer. Sea ice reduces the effects of ocean waves on the coast, meaning that if it is lost the waves will be stronger and larger and cause more erosion.