Sunday 26 August 2018

Media coverage of break -up of oldest, thickest ice in the Arctic

There has been more coverage of this news in the media but it doesn't dominate the headlines as it should.

ZERO coverage in New Zealand media.
The Arctic’s oldest, thickest sea ice is ‘breaking apart’ for first time in recorded historical past

25 August, 2018

Sea ice north of Greenland – a number of the oldest and thickest within the Arctic – has damaged up for the second time this yr, a phenomenon by no means seen earlier than.

Satellite tv for pc photographs present ice melting across the coast of the island closest to the North Pole, opening up waters which can be often frozen, even in summer time.
One meteorologist mentioned the lack of ice was “scary”.
Rasmus Tage Tonboe, a sea ice professional from the Danish Meteorological Society, advised Sky Information: “Proper now, the ocean ice within the Arctic is close to its annual minimal, it’s melting.
However this yr sea ice north of Greenland, which is generally the thickest and most strong, has retreated from the coast in fairly broad band of open water.
The primary occasion occurred in February when the temperatures had been very excessive and the water was blowing away from the coast and created open water areas.
We’ve got not seen open water of this extent since we started satellite tv for pc recording of this 40 years in the past.”
He added that the ice froze again over after the February defrost, however was a lot thinner than it had been.

An image describing conditions on sea ice around Norway. Pic: METNOPicture: A picture describing circumstances on sea ice round Norway. Pic: METNO

Mr Tonboe mentioned: “This thick and strong ice is essential for the local weather, and for the suggestions mechanisms at play right here and likewise for the polar bears.
We want this thick ice all yr.”
Mr Tonboe mentioned though northern Europe had benefited from a really heat summer time, there was not a direct hyperlink between the climate and what’s taking place within the Arctic.
It’s not associated to the imply temperatures which have been very very heat.
It’s a part of the general local weather development, the temperatures within the Arctic rising however this summer time was not a file there.”
The ocean ice off the north coast of Greenland had beforehand been described because the “final ice” because it had been assumed this might be the ultimate place to soften solely. Scientists might should revise this idea.
Thomas Lavergne, a scientist at Norway’s meteorological institute METNO, tweeted the pictures, saying they had been “good and scary”.
He advised the Guardian: “I can not inform how lengthy this open water patch will stay open, however even when it closes in few days from now, the hurt shall be performed: the thick previous sea ice could have been pushed away from the coast, to an space the place it is going to soften extra simply.”
It’s typical of a phenomenon that’s occurring throughout the Arctic Circle.
Here’s a nearer have a look at the ocean ice pushing north of Greenland by way of Sentinel-1 satellite tv for pc. Curiously, that is the 2nd time this has occurred this yr. This ice might be fairly a bit thinner than standard and attentive to drift dynamics.
[Imagery from]
Zack Labe (@ZLabe) August 8, 2018
Norway’s ice service mentioned Svalbard’s sea ice space for 21 August was 111,968 sq km, including “that is 115,969 sq km beneath the 1981-2010 common”.
They mentioned the present space was the bottom on file.
Cambridge College physicist Professor Peter Wadhams warned the melting ice might severely affect the polar bear inhabitants.
He advised the Impartial: “The north coast of Greenland, with its very steep cliffs, is a denning space for polar bears.
Sea ice spotted from NASA's Operation IceBridge research aircraft off GreenlandPicture: Sea ice noticed from NASA’s Operation IceBridge analysis plane off Greenland

They dig holes within the snow and are available out within the spring and go looking.
But when the pack ice has moved offshore they arrive out of hibernation and are left with out an space to hunt.
They can not swim very far.
If this turns into a everlasting characteristic with ice away from the coast, polar bears will not have any ice to hunt on. You’ll lose the polar bear habitat.”

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