(ORDO NEWS) — At the North Pole, there is a patch of Arctic ice called the “last ice sheet.” For years, scientists believed that this is the oldest and thickest patch of ice in the Arctic, which could survive global warming. Many experts even hoped that the region would help restore ice cover in the future. However, new data suggests otherwise.
There are things that have been around for millennia. It seems to us that they are eternal and nothing threatens their existence, except perhaps a person.
In a new study, scientists used satellite data to study ice arches off Nares Strait. Such structures form seasonally and prevent the loss of ice in this area, that is, ice masses simply cannot escape from the Arctic through the strait. However, now, as noted by glaciologists, these arches have become unstable.
According to the observations of scientists, every year the ice arches break up a week earlier than before. Before climate change, such an arch could stand up to 250 days, but today it collapses within 100 – 150 days.
The disappearance of this ice zone will have a profound impact on the surrounding ecosystem in this part of the world. The authors of the work, which is published in Nature Communications, say both polar bears and “ice” algae, which supply carbon, oxygen and other important substances to the environment, will be affected.
The thinning ice arches and the consequences of this are another reminder of the damage that is behind global warming. Scientists note that the rate of ice loss is in line with some of the worst-case climate scenarios, with fears that Arctic ice may disappear as early as 2035.
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