A study suggests that the Arctic “may be virtually ice-free in the summer for 15 years,” according to until the Us. The study uses statistical models to predict the future size of Arctic ice, suggesting that the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer of the 10 years in the 1930s, most likely in 2034, USA Today reported on March 1.
The report says sea ice is frozen sea water that melts every summer and then freezes again every winter. Arctic summer sea ice has been steadily declining over the past few decades because of global warming. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says sea ice levels fell to the second-lowest level on record in 2019.
Sea ice affects Arctic communities and wildlife such as polar bears and walruses, and helps regulate the Earth’s temperature by affecting atmospheric and ocean circulation.
“The extent of Arctic ice is important to Arctic residents whose land is being affected by increased coastal erosion,” the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said in a statement. In turn, the loss of sea ice creates economic opportunities, including the opening of oil fields and new shipping lanes. “
The report says the first “ice-free” Arctic summer year, as scientists say, will occur when Arctic sea ice is less than 1 million square kilometers (the thick ice around Canada’s Arctic islands is likely to last longer, even in the summer months).
With climate change, the Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet. In 2019, Arctic temperatures were about 3.4 degrees Celsius above average, the second-warmest year since records began in 1900.
The scientists also say the results suggest that there is room for improvement in sea ice models, which may disappear faster than existing models suggest.