HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE GOING TO READ that climate change is happening “faster” than expected before we change our expectations—or, at least, our definition of fast? “Stretches of the Arctic’s oldest ice, and its thickest—the last refuge ice that should survive even when the Arctic Ocean technically becomes ice-free in summers later this century—are now disappearing twice as fast as the rest of the Arctic icecap.
Although the north polar ice is vulnerable to global heating, and has been thinning and retreating at an accelerating rate for the last 40 summers, researchers have always expected some winter ice to survive: they define an “ice-free Arctic Ocean” as one with less than 1 million square kilometres of surviving ice pack.
But this supposedly ancient remnant of the polar winters, concentrated north of Greenland and the Canadian polar archipelago, is showing signs of change.
Researchers do not explicitly finger climate change driven by ever-greater human use of fossil fuels as the direct agent of this change: this is an area of polar ice difficult to observe and explore, is little known, and may always have been subject to change.”
The paragraphs above were taken from “Arctic’s Oldest Ice Shows Signs of Change” by Tim Radford for Climate News Network (November 21, 2019). To read the entire article, click HERE.Stretches of the Arctic’s oldest ice that should survive even when the Arctic Ocean becomes ice-free in summers later this century are now disappearing twice as fast as the rest of the icecap. Click To Tweet
FEATURED IMAGE: The photo at the top of this page is of deep fjords in Northwest Greenland, near where the oldest Arctic ice is melting fast. (Photo by NASA via Wikimedia Commons.)