As the earth warms, Arctic sea ice reaches its lowest point of the year.
The summer sea ice melt season ends in September, and the Arctic sea ice minimum occurs, when sea ice across the Northern Hemisphere ocean reaches its lowest extent of the year.
This is often the best chance for ship captains wanting to cruise across the Arctic, especially in recent years. As a result of rising carbon dioxide from human activity, sea ice cover has decreased by nearly half since the 1980s.
We study the causes and implications of sea ice change as NASA scientists. On September 16, 2021, the Arctic sea ice cover reached its minimal extent. While it wasn’t a record low, a look back at the melt season sheds light on the Arctic sea ice’s steady reduction in the face of climate change.
The Arctic is getting hotter.
According to the latest climate assessment from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Arctic sea ice levels have been at their lowest since at least 1850 for the annual mean and in at least 1,000 years for late summer. “The Arctic is likely to be practically sea ice free in September at least once before 2050,” the IPCC stated.
Less of the sun’s radiation is reflected back to space as the Arctic’s brilliant ice is replaced by a darker open ocean surface, causing increased heating and ice loss. This albedo feedback loop is one of the factors contributing to the Arctic warming three times faster than the rest of the planet.
In 2021, there will be no sea ice.
Last winter set the tone for this year’s sea ice minimum. The Central Arctic’s thickest, oldest sea ice was driven into the Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska, by an unusual high-pressure system and strong clockwise winds. Scientists studying sea ice were taking notice.
Summer melt began in earnest in May, a month marked by many cyclones making landfall in the Arctic. This boosted sea ice drift while simultaneously keeping temperatures low and therefore reducing melt.
In June, which featured a dominant low-pressure system and temperatures that were a few degrees warmer than typical, the area and rate of melting rose dramatically.
Conditions were very near to the record low recorded in 2012 at the beginning of July, although the rate of… Article Summary from Nokia News