Arctic summers could be ice-free in just 10 years thanks to climate change, study warns
- The sea ice may be wiped off the Arctic a decade sooner than previously thought
- Scientists are urging countries in the Northern Hemisphere to prepare for extreme weather
- Even if greenhouse gas emissions plummet, the future of sea ice looks bleak
Summer sea ice could be wiped off the Arctic in just 10 years — a decade sooner than previously predicted.
Kil research warns that we are ‘too late’ to save Arctic ice amid dire consequences of human-induced climate change.
Scientists warn that cutting greenhouse gas emissions still won’t be enough as all scenarios point to no ice before 2050.
As a result, extreme weather may be on the horizon, with the team, led by Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, South Korea, urging countries in the Northern Hemisphere to prepare for the worst.
“Unfortunately, it has become too late to save the Arctic summer sea ice,” said Professor Dirk Notz from the University of Hamburg. The protector.
The sea ice could be wiped off the Arctic faster than previously thought, researchers warn
‘As scientists, we have been warning about the loss of Arctic summer sea ice for decades. This is now the first major part of the Earth system that we are going to lose due to global warming. People didn’t listen to our warnings.’
Arctic sea ice plays an essential role in the world’s ecosystems, with its melting contributing to rising global sea levels.
An ice-free area will also render many animal species homeless, including the already vulnerable polar bears.
Two years ago, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) believed that the Arctic would experience a “virtually ice-free” summer at least once before 2050.
Forecasts said this would happen within both intermediate and high emissions scenarios, but there was less chance if global temperature rise stopped at 3.6°F (2°C).
Still, the new study shows that this “profound” phenomenon could occur in lower-emissions scenarios, despite global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Scientists analyzed satellite data from the past 41 years to predict this, provided by NASA and a number of other organizations.
“This would have implications for human society and the ecosystem both within and beyond the Arctic,” the authors wrote.
Scientists are urging northern countries to prepare for extreme weather in the coming decades
“These results highlight the profound impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the Arctic and demonstrate the importance of planning for and adapting to a seasonally ice-free Arctic in the near future.”
Scientists have not pinpointed an exact year for the first ice-free summer, during which the Arctic was subject to various environmental influences.
While heat waves can speed up ice melting, random volcanic eruptions can also slow it down.
This is often caused by ash and aerosols in the atmosphere blocking sunlight from reaching the ice, slowing the melting of the ice.
The study also follows similar forecasts from the Met Office, which suggested there could be no more Arctic sea ice by 2035.
This was attributed to the strong spring sun creating pools of water that suck the sun’s heat and exacerbate the warming.
At the time, Dr Louise Sime of the British Antarctic Survey warned: ‘We know that the Arctic is undergoing significant changes as our planet warms.
“Understanding what happened during Earth’s last warm period can help us better understand what will happen in the future.
“The prospect of sea ice loss by 2035 should really focus all of our attention on achieving a low-carbon world as quickly as humanly possible.”