The Arctic Ocean’s oldest and thickest sea ice lies along the ~2,000 km arc from the western Canadian Arctic Archipelago to the northern coast of Greenland. Climate models suggest that this region will be the last to lose its perennial ice cover, thus providing an important refuge for ice‐dependent species.
The new study published in Geophysical Research Letters, has discovered that Arctic Ocean ice in the north of Greenland is melting sooner than expected.
According to a report in SciTechDaily, in fact, it is now being predicted that Arctic summers will become ice-free by as early as 2030.
The study further stated that a warm environment has already been created in the Arctic, which leads to younger ice pack.
“There are some differences in the changing nature of the ice cover between the eastern and western regions of the Last Ice Area, which include different timing of the annual minimum in ice thickness as well as distinct ice motion patterns associated with ice thickness extrema,” the study further added.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, most of the ice covering the Arctic is as young as only one to four years old.
Kent Moore, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Toronto said, “We can’t treat the Last Ice Area as a monolithic area of ice which is going to last a long time,” quoted SciTechDaily as saying.
“Eventually the Last Ice Area will be the region that will repopulate the Arctic with wildlife. If we lose all the ice, we lose those species. This area will be a refuge where species can survive and hopefully expand their regions once the ice starts returning,” Moore added.
Echoing a similar sentiment, David Barber, an Arctic climatologist from the University of Manitoba in Canada, has stated that these results are enlightening them with the fact that Arctic is a dynamic area, the report added.
Barbe, who wasn’t a part of the study, further added, “Historically, we thought of this place as an area that just receives ice.”