Levels of the Arctic sea ice in recent years

(Mirror Daily, United States) As 2016 seems to be one of the hottest years on record, it should come as no surprise that the Arctic sea ice is severely affected. According to recent statistics from researchers, the Arctic sea ice is in critical condition, very similar to the one recorded in 2012. The Arctic sea ice reached its lowest level four years ago, and recent atmospheric phenomena seem to lead in the same direction.

Researchers observed that global warming caused the Arctic sea ice to melt at alarming rates this summer. Recent calculations show that the Arctic sea ice covered 1.6 million square miles on September 10. It was only in 2012 when the region covered by ice represented a smaller area than this one in the Northern parts of the Globe, namely 1.31 million square miles.

Scientists were able to observe the phenomenon thanks to satellite technology. They also believe that global warming is rapidly advancing, as the phenomenon of Arctic ice melting happening at such rates in a relatively short period of time is a clear sign of that.

Environmentalists predict that the moment when the Arctic ice will be completely gone is closer than we might think. They have reasons to believe that within less than twenty years there will be no more areas covered in ice at the North Pole.

The team of researchers who investigated the ice melting on September 10 suggest that the situation can get worse. Although the freezing season should be approaching, the process of melting could actually advance. However, cold winter couldn’t restore the initial size of the Arctic sea ice. It used to cover 7.5 million square kilometers, even during summer.

The melting of snow and ice in the North Pole is only one of the effects of global warming, and one of the most visible too. However, the loss of such a significant area of the Arctic sea ice has its own effects. First of all, it stands as the loss of habitat of many marine and land species, polar bears among them. Losing the protective ice also exposes the region to further pollution and overfishing. There are also native human populations who are strongly connected to their environment.

Climate change is a natural phenomenon, which might have happened with or without man’s help. However, there is no denying that human activity contributed to the process, although no harm intended. Pollution and gas emissions play an important part in the process of global warming, which led to massive ice melting in the Arctic.

Image courtesy of: Wikipedia