In 2008 the North Pole may stay free of ice


29/04/2008

According to researchers from the U.S. Center for the Study of snow and ice (National Snow and Ice Data Center, NSIDC) in 2008, the North Pole ice may lose because of unfavorable ecological situation and other factors have led to the fact that the ice is getting thinner and vulnerable during the summer melt season.

In September 2007, Arctic sea ice reached a record low thickness, opening the Northwest Passage from Greenland to Alaska. In winter, the ice thickness increased again, and in March 2008 he held the ice cover a larger area, compared with March 2007. And while many in the media have presented it as a good and encouraging news, the trend reduction of the ice cover, observed since 1978, continues to this day.

The maximum amount of Arctic sea ice observed in March, but this maximum is declining by an average of 44,000 square kilometers. For comparison, this area is approximately two times the size of New Jersey (State of the eastern United States). Moreover, satellite photos show that most of the Arctic sea ice is currently ranked thin young ice that has formed just last fall. Naturally, the thin ice is more vulnerable than the fat that forms over the years. At the moment, a young thin ice on even the North Pole, which increases the likelihood that this year’s ice there may simply disappear.

Most scientists are not concerned about the fact that the North Pole may stay free of ice, and the fact that the rate of melting of the Arctic ice exceeds the rate of formation of multi-year ice. Each year, nearly half of first-year ice, formed between September and March, melts during the summer. In addition, this winter has entered into an active (positive) phase of the atmospheric phenomenon known as the Arctic Oscillation (Arctic Oscillation), when the winds begin to blow, conveying multi-year ice from the Arctic along the east coast of Greenland.

Together, these factors have led to the fact that most of the Arctic ice cover is now one year old thin ice. Even if this year will melt only half of first-year ice (which is average), the area covered by ice, there will be very little.

But there is something that could save the situation. In the summer of 2007 contributed to the melting of the warm winds. If last year remain an atmospheric model, this summer the Arctic could lose a huge amount of ice. However, if the atmospheric model will be cooler and cyclone, the ice can be maintained. All the details about the main events of the day widgets news let us know.

Original: Newscientist.com


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