How are the Artics holding up with the current changes in climate and overall trend of global warming?
Well, climate change is hitting the North Pole quite hard. Historic Arctic heatwaves in the past few years have thawed the North Pole so much it’s shattered into pieces, climate researchers have discovered.
Scientists onboard research ships were surprised by how freely the vessels can move in waters typically known to be frozen solid.
Recent satellite images have shown an unprecedented level of polar ice melting that has significantly shrunk arctic caps faster and to a greater extent than any year in the past four decades.
At first these researchers on the expedition weren’t sure whether the loose ice cover was due to wind and currents. Current weather conditions.
They were concerned that, if it was, a change in weather conditions could compact it again. Then they would have been caught in a mousetrap and could have become trapped in the ice.
But if it were the weather, these conditions never changed. It seems a change in climate is melting the ice faster than expected.
On the way north, the sea ice is surprisingly weak, has lots of melt ponds, and icebreaker ships are able to easily break it. Gaping cracks can be seen between large chunks of ice extending into the distance for kilometres.
For the North Pole the current situation is historic. Normally it’s wise to avoid the region north of Greenland because it’s home to the thicker and older ice and virtually impassable. But now you can easily find extended stretches of open water reaching nearly to the Pole.
Near Siberia, that warming has resulted in less ice being naturally formed and it melting faster than any year since 1979. A phenomenon deemed only possible every 80,000 years if not for human interference.
US scientists have also found that between May and July this year, the Northern Hemisphere experienced its warmest three months on record.
While the Northern Hemisphere is currently in the midst of summer and global ice caps naturally go through melt-and-freeze phases throughout the year, the re-freezing stage has been dramatically slower.
Teams are now set to further measure the looming freeze period.