Meteorologists call satellite images showing open water occurring in areas it is rarely seen “scary” amid growing climate fears.

Sea ice north of Greenland – some of the oldest and thickest in the Arctic – has broken up for the second time this year, a phenomenon never seen before.

Satellite images show ice melting around the coast of the island closest to the North Pole, opening up waters that are usually frozen even in Summer.

One meteorologist said the loss of ice was “scary”.

An image showing the extent of sea ice around Greenland on 22 August. Pic: Seaice.dk
Image:
An image showing the extent of sea ice around Greenland on 22 August. Pic: Seaice.dk
The Guardian reports the ice has been affected by warm winds and the heatwave in the northern hemisphere.

The sea ice off the north coast of Greenland had previously been described as the “last ice” as it had been assumed this would be the final place to melt entirely. Scientists may have to revise this theory.

An image describing conditions on sea ice around Norway. Pic: METNO
Image:
An image describing conditions on sea ice around Norway. Pic: METNO
Thomas Lavergne, a scientist at Norway’s meteorological institute METNO, tweeted the images, saying they were “nice and scary”.

He told the Guardian: “I cannot tell how long this open water patch will remain open, but even if it closes in few days from now, the harm will be done: the thick old sea ice will have been pushed away from the coast, to an area where it will melt more easily.”

So the open water / low concentration patch North for Greenland is still there (and slowly moving westward). Nice and scary. From http://seaice.dk

Norway’s ice service said Svalbard’s sea ice area for 21 August was 111,968 sq km, adding “this is 115,969 sq km below the 1981-2010 average”.

They said the current area was the lowest on record.

Cambridge University physicist Professor Peter Wadhams warned the melting ice could severely impact the polar bear population.

He told the Independent: “The north coast of Greenland, with its very steep cliffs, is a denning area for polar bears.

“They dig holes in the snow and come out in the spring and go hunting. But if the pack ice has moved offshore they come out of hibernation and are left without an area to hunt.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here