As Arctic Melt Sets Early July Record, Hard Times Ahead For Ice: Studies

"Arctic sea ice fell to its lowest extent on record for this time of year on July 5, even though the spring had so far been relatively cool and stormy — conditions that, in the past, would have protected the ice.

Three new studies help explain why. One found that increasing air temperatures and intrusion of warm water from the North Atlantic into the Barents and Kara Seas — a climate change-driven process known as Atlantification — are overpowering the ice’s ability to regrow in winter.

Another study found that sea ice in coastal areas may be thinning at up to twice the pace previously thought. In three coastal seas — Laptev, Kara, and Chukchi — the rate of coastal ice decline increased by 70%, 98%, and 110% respectively when compared to earlier models.

A third study found accelerated sea ice loss in the Wandel Sea, pointing to a possible assault by global warming on the Arctic’s Last Ice Area — a last bastion of multi-year sea ice which stretches from Greenland along the Canadian Arctic Archipelago. Combined, this research shows Arctic ice may be in worse trouble than thought."

Gloria Dickie reports for Mongabay July 8, 2021.

Source: Mongabay, 07/09/2021