Research, Technology

Arctic ice is melting at an alarming rate. Where it leads?

The Arctic is an icy region of our planet,which is adjacent to the North Pole. Its area is 27 million kilometers, and almost all of this territory is covered with ice. Due to the fact that the Arctic lands are very cold, a very limited number of animals live there, including unusual musk ox, polar bear, bighorn sheep and others. There are also very few plants in the Arctic, but those that do exist can grow up to 2 meters in length. Also, bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics were found in the Arctic lands - such a discovery, because this property of microbes can cause another pandemic. Recently, scientists studied the Arctic ice using satellite imagery and learned that due to the effects of greenhouse gases, they are melting "at an alarming rate." It seems that by the middle of the XXI century our planet will look different.

Melting ice could kill humanity

Ice in the Arctic is melting at an alarming rate

Shared the results of a new scientific workScience Alert edition. After studying satellite imagery, scientists concluded that in 2021, multi-year sea ice in the Arctic was 50 centimeters thinner than a year earlier. It turns out that in just 3 years, the Antarctic ice has melted by as much as 16%. It is noteworthy that we are talking about multi-year icing - seasonal sea ice in the Arctic melts every summer. But the melting of perennial ice is already something abnormal.

In the Artik, even the ice, which experienced very warm times, is disappearing

How do scientists study the thickness of ice in the Arctic?

According to polar explorer Ron Kwok (RonKwok), the depth of the snow cover, as well as the thickness and volume of the Arctic ice, are very difficult to measure. Previously, climate data were used to estimate these parameters, and these results were not the most accurate. More reliable data was obtained thanks to the work of the ICESat-2 and CryoSat-2 satellites, which revolve around the Earth. Spacecraft send laser beams and radio waves to the surface of our planet. They are reflected from the Earth in different ways, depending on the thickness, density and other properties of the surface. By studying the reflection characteristics, you can find out the most accurate data on the volume of ice, snow thickness, and so on.

ICESat-2 satellite

Scientists already knew that multi-year icemuch less prone to melting than seasonal. But according to satellite data, over the past 18 years, sea ice has lost 6,000 cubic kilometers, a third of its volume. The scientists came to this conclusion when they combined the recently obtained information with data from the old ICESat satellite. Scientist Sahra Kacimi admitted that they did not expect such a strong level of ice melt.

See also: The sharp melting of glaciers in Greenland led to a rise in world sea levels

Why can't the glaciers be allowed to melt?

What worries scientists the most is thatintensive melting occurred in just 3 years. This means that in the future the Arctic ice may begin to melt even faster. Researcher Sahra Kasimi noted that computer models do not predict the most peaceful future on Earth. Approximately by the middle of the 21st century, an ice-free summer may begin in the Arctic. Due to the greenhouse effect caused by air pollution, old ice, which previously easily survived periods of melting, may disappear.

Melting glaciers could kill animals

What will be the consequences of the melting of the Arcticice, it's hard to say at the moment. But nothing good should be expected, because the melting of ice can cause a significant rise in the level of the world ocean, which will cause floods and other natural disasters. Do not forget that strong climate change will certainly cause the extinction of animals. If the ice melts even in the Arctic, it's scary to think what the weather will be like in other parts of our planet. It will become hot, which will definitely lead to forest fires. You can already notice the signs of global warming today - remember how hot the summer of 2021 was? Most likely, it will be hot this year as well.

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Some scientists believe that the melting of ice oncold regions of our planet can cause the death of mankind. Recently, my colleague Lyubov Sokovikova said that the melting of the largest glacier in West Antarctica in the future could cause sea levels to rise until 2100. In the article, she remembered the Maya civilization, which disappeared without a trace several centuries ago. The exact cause of the death of this people is unknown, but it is believed that this was due to a long drought, which they themselves could provoke. Is it possible that our desire to change nature to suit our own needs will also play a cruel joke on us?