Arctic sea ice could VANISH entirely by 2035, Experts Claims – InsiderfolksArctic sea ice could VANISH entirely by 2035, Experts Claims – InsiderfolksArctic sea ice could VANISH entirely by 2035, Experts Claims – Insiderfolks
Research published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change projects that, due to the disappearance of sea ice, the Arctic can start to see an ice-free season every year as early as 2035.
“This should be of great concern to Arctic communities and climate scientists,” the study said.
It is one of the most aggressive timelines for this threshold to be reached and, if correct, one of the more direct signs that humans are warming the Earth’s climate at an even more dramatic pace than expected.
It applies in the Arctic, as, as experts tend to claim, what occurs in the Arctic will not stay in the Arctic.
Like a refrigerator, ice cover in the Arctic is critical to Earth’s climate. It not only affects regional climates, but also affects global weather patterns and ocean circulation. As more ice melts, the pace of warming is increasing and the balance of the climate system is being thrown out of kilter.
Although you may have been hard-pressed to locate a climate scientist who may not believe that the Arctic is going to enter an ice-free environment – during the summer – at some stage this century, the timeframe for the current research is sooner than any analysis has shown to date.
The colored lines represent the average extent of sea ice per decade from the 1980s to the present. Ice decreased by an average of 10% per decade and has accelerated recently. – Zack Labe
To see how effective ice cover is at regulating the atmosphere, remember the reality that the Arctic is warming at three times the pace of the global average. It’s mostly that the ice behaves as a prism, reflecting sunshine and holding the Arctic cold.
But recently, less ice means more sun is absorbed by the darker ocean, accelerating the pace of regional warming.
In order to conclude a faster timeline for ice-free summers, the research team compared the current Arctic climate to the climate of the last interglacial period (between the ice ages) around 125,000 years ago. Such comparison is made possible by using fossil records to reconstruct historical climate data and using advanced computer simulations to simulate the atmosphere of that period.
Evidence from that time shows that Arctic conditions during the last interglacial period were at least a few degrees Fahrenheit colder than they are now, and sea levels were 20 to 30 feet higher than they are today. This knowledge enables scientists to measure and link our expected future climate and to use the past period as an analog for our future climate.
Up until now, computer simulations have not been able to replicate the warmest temperatures over the last interglacial phase. The team concluded that the failure to reproduce the observed warmth in the simulations was possibly due to the failure to completely reflect the shifts in sea-ice.
However, with recent improvements in some global climate models, the team considered that the most recent models could finally be up to the task.
Core of the study involved the use of the latest generation of the Hadley Center climate model (HadGEM3) – a fully coupled atmosphere-land-ocean-ice climate model – to simulate the climate of the last interglacial.
The findings reveal that HadGEM3 simulates a more realistic last interglacial Arctic atmosphere than the previous ones, despite elevated temperatures. The authors state that 95% of the agreement exists between the model and the observations from that time period.
The team notes that their findings on the ice-free Arctic and how the ice-free conditions developed during the last interglacial period may unravel a long-standing puzzle as to why the Arctic was able to get so warm 125,000 years ago, as well as support a rapid withdrawal of future Arctic summer sea ice.
Although climate scientists believe that the downturn will be significant, some are dubious about the accelerated 2035 projection. This is because the HadGEM3 climate model simulates greater warming than the vast majority of the other recently upgraded simulations.
In comparison, the team utilizes a strong greenhouse gas emissions scenario, as opposed to a more modest scenario, to draw its conclusions. The more heat-absorbing greenhouse gas pollution you foresee, the more power your model can produce.
Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at Colorado University, said the 2035 timeframe was “possible, but maybe aggressive.” “Some can remember that I once said ‘as early as 2030.’ Too violent in hindsight,” he said. “I’ve had to back off on some of my own extreme views as we go seasonally free of ice. The ice cover, while falling quite quickly, is also showing some resilience.”
To date, the average temperature of the Planet has been increased by around 1.2 degrees Celsius. The general rule of thumb is that the Arctic should become ice-free in the summer when global warming crosses 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) over pre-industrial levels in the 1800s.
But the probability of ice-free summers depends so much on how quickly people encourage the atmosphere to warm up.
Serreze said there is a growing consensus that the mid-2040s are more realistic and will have to do a lot with natural variability. It applies to oscillations over decades that will spontaneously warm or cool the regions of the planet, delay or increase the speed of ice-free summers in the Arctic.
Zack Labe, an authority on Arctic sea ice and postdoctoral researcher at Colorado State University’s Department of Atmospheric Sciences, acknowledges and points out that the current paper will not have a comprehensive solution to natural temperature variations.
“Due to internal variation, there’s still going to be a broad variety to forecast the exact year from climate forecasts. So, while 2035 is conceivable, I wouldn’t rely too much on that specific year,” he said.
Labe said he was much more worried with explaining the long-term fall.
“Aside from being newsworthy-symbolic, ‘ice-free’ is not a specific criterion for physical impacts,” he added. “So many communities and terrestrial / marine ecosystems are already affected by current trends in Arctic amplification.”
Looking to the future, Serreze said the extent to which developments in the Arctic would have an effect on weather conditions outside the Arctic is still under consideration. However, he is more concerned about the human exploitation of the region.
“I am of the increasing opinion that much of the Arctic’s presence outside the Arctic would lie in agriculture and geopolitics – the production of oil and natural gas, mining, transportation, and militarization of the area,” he stated.
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