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Arctic Could Be Ice-Free In The Summer By 2030: SSB Interview Topic

On June 6, 2023, scientists announced that the Arctic Ocean’s ice cap will disappear in the summer as early as the 2030s, ten years earlier than expected. Despite Concerted Efforts And International Discussions, Climate Change Is Already Having A Devastating Impact On The Ecosystem.

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Why In The News?

  • Scientists Announced On 6th June 2023 That The Arctic Ocean’s Ice Cap Will Disappear In The Summer As Early As The 2030s, Ten Years Earlier Than Anticipated. Despite Concerted Efforts And International Discussions, Climate Change Has Already Begun To Have A Terrible Impact On The Ecosystem.

About The Study:

  • The Study That Was Published In The Journal Nature Communications Found That Even Capping Global Warming At 1.5 Degrees Celsius In Line With The Paris Climate Treaty Will Not Prevent The North Pole’s Vast Expanse Of Floating Ice From Melting Away.
  • “It Is Too Late To Still Protect The Arctic Summer Sea Ice As A Landscape And As A Habitat,” Co-Author Dirk Notz, A Professor At The University Of Hamburg’s Institute Of Oceanography, Said.
  • The Study Warns This Will Be The First Major Component Of Our Climate System That We Lose Because Of Our Emission Of Greenhouse Gases. Decreased Ice Cover Has Serious Impacts Over Time On Weather, People, And Ecosystems-Not Just Within The Region, But Globally.
  • Sea Ice In Antarctica Dropped To 1.92 Million Square Kilometres In February, The Lowest Level On Record And Almost One Million Square Kilometres Below The 1991-2020 Mean.
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Issue Of Climate Change In The Arctic:

  • The Arctic Has Been Experiencing Climate Heating Faster Than Any Other Part Of The Planet. The Ice Which Remains At The End Of Summer Is Called Multiyear Sea Ice And Is Considerably Thicker Than Its Seasonal Counterpart. It Acts As a Barrier To The Transfer Of Both Moisture And Heat Between The Ocean And the Atmosphere.
  • Over The Past 40 Years, This Multiyear Sea Ice Has Shrunk From Around 7 Million Sq Km To 4 Million. That Is A Loss Equivalent To Roughly The Size Of India Or 12 UKs. In Other Words, It’s A Big Signal, One Of The Starkest And most Dramatic Signs Of Fundamental Change To The Climate System Anywhere In The World.
  • Therefore, There Has Been Considerable Effort Invested In Determining When The Arctic Ocean Might First Become Ice-free In Summer, Sometimes Called A “Blue Ocean Event” And Defined As When The Sea Ice Area Drops Below 1 Million Sq km.
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Melting Faster Than Models Predicted:

  • The Latest IPCC Climate Science Report, Published In 2021, Predicted A Loss Of About 2.5% Per Decade, While The Observations Were Closer To 8%. These Predictions Were Made Way Back In The Early 2000s.

Why This Matter?

  • Arctic Sea Ice Is An Important Component Of The Climate System.
  • As It Dramatically Reduces The Amount Of Sunlight Absorbed By The Ocean, Removing This Ice Is Predicted To Further Accelerate Warming, Through A Process Known As A Positive Feedback.
  • This, In Turn, Will Make The Greenland Ice Sheet Melt Faster, Which Is Already A Major Contributor To Sea Level Rise.
  • The Loss Of Sea Ice In Summer Would Also Mean Changes In Atmospheric Circulation And Storm Tracks And Fundamental Shifts In Ocean Biological Activity.
  • These Are Just Some Of The Highly Undesirable Consequences And It Is Fair To Say That The Disadvantages Will Far Outweigh The Slender Benefits.
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