Greenland and Antarctica may be at the world’s end, but life depends on what happens in this remote, glacier wastelands. According to the latest reports, sea ice in the Arctic is at a new low and that means we must prepare ourselves for the consequences.
For starters, some people, plants, animals, even the second largest lake in Bolivia are still recovering from last year’s violent El Nino. The fast rhythm in which the polar ice caps are melting is a major clue to the increased intensity that the phenomenon will have this year.
But El Nino is not the only destructive phenomenon caused by the low levels of sea ice. The increased temperatures from the last years have caused the separation of ice sheets. And the floating rogue pieces can cause extensive damage to the few millions of people that are living in coastal areas. Just look what a single iceberg did to a colony of 15,000 Adelie penguins.
And rogue ice sheets and icebergs are just a part of the bigger problem. Sea ice in the Arctic is at a new low due to the serious increase in temperatures. Scientists estimate that sea levels have risen with approximately three millimeters in a single year. And in the last decade, the rise in sea levels has accelerated substantially.
A recent study revealed a calculation method based on the proportional rise in both temperature and sea levels. The conclusion of the study was that by 2300 the general rise in sea levels will range from somewhere around 60 centimeters (in the best case scenario) and three meters (in a more probable, worst case scenario).
And these calculations were made using data gathered only from Antarctica. But there are other places where the ice is rapidly melting, too.
What would be a better way of predicting the future if not by looking into the past? Before the last ice age ended, an ice sheet as large as the surface of Antarctica disappeared somewhere over what is now North America.
After studying satellite images of the area where the ice sheet was located and using a database that already existed, researchers discovered the probable reason for the giant ice sheet’s collapse. It seems that ice the increased melting of the sheet’s surface lead to the inevitable disappearance of the icy landscape.
Sea ice in the Arctic is at a new low, and even though the world of climate researchers is torn apart, the majority of them believe that some regions in West Antarctica might suffer the same fate as the prehistoric ice sheet from North America.
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