For millions and millions of years, the Arctic observed a ritual that remained the same over time. During the winters, the Arctic Sea Ice is expanding, and sub-zero polar temperatures freeze waters in their place.
During the summer, the ice pack is retreating, and warmer temperatures thaw the winter-made gains. These are surrounded back to the ocean.
We’re living in an era of climate change, and it seems that the cycle described above has been disturbed. For decades now, the overall coverage of Arctic sea ice has been declining, and expanding less and retreating more and more with each passing year.
The Arctic remained frozen and covered in sea ice even in the summer so far, but according to the latest reports, it seems that this will not remain the same for long.
The Arctic Ocean to become free of ice in the summer
There’s a new analysis that involves various climate models, and it’s predicting that the Arctic Ocean will become free of ice in the summer – this is not set to happen in centuries, but only in a few decades.
The forecast is a pretty terrifying one that persists even in the best case scenarios, unfortunately.
The best-case scenarios involve the cutting down of atmospheric CO2 emissions.
“If we reduce global emissions rapidly and substantially, and thus keep global warming below 2 °C relative to pre-industrial levels, Arctic sea ice will nevertheless likely disappear occasionally in summer even before 2050,” according to polar geophysicist Dirk Notz from the University of Hamburg in Germany.
“This really surprised us.”
In a new study, Notz and his team examined various different climate models, simulating the evolution of the Arctic sea ice in the future. It’s been revealed by Science Alert that in most of the simulations the Arctic Ocean becomes sea-ice free before we even reach 2050.
“The CMIP6 models simulate a large spread for when Arctic sea-ice area is predicted to drop below 1 million km2, such that the Arctic Ocean becomes practically sea-ice free,” the authors wrote.