Chunks of ice float in melt-water pools on top of the Helheim glacier near Tasiilaq, Greenland, June 19, 2018.Reuters

In September, sea ice in the Arctic Ocean hit a low of about 1.4 million acres – the second-lowest on record, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The only time it got lower was in 2012, when ice cover reached over just 1.3 million acres.

In the 1980s, ice covered at least 1 million more acres of ocean than it does now. In 1980, its minimum extent was 2.7 million square miles, according to NASA.

When it comes to ice on land, the picture is just as dire. Greenland is on track to lose more of its ice sheet this century than any other in the past 12,000 years, according to a recent study published in the journal Nature.

Weather patterns, like seasonal changes in atmospheric pressure, play a role in fluctuations in ice cover and loss. But climate change has overwhelmingly driven the dramatic increase in melting observed over the last 40 years.

“Absolutely we’re seeing climate change at work because the warm summers become warmer and the cold winters aren’t as cold as they were,” Mark Serreze, director of the Snow and Ice Data Center, told the Associated Press.

The jet stream is driven by differences between low temperatures in the Arctic and higher temperatures farther south.

“Because we’re warming the Arctic so much faster, that north-south temperature difference is getting smaller, and the jet stream is getting weaker,” Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, told WBUR in Boston.

A weakening jet stream means slower weather patterns, which could lead events like heat waves to last longer.

The jet stream is driven by differences between low temperatures in the Arctic and higher temperatures farther south.

Because we’re warming the Arctic so much faster, that north-south temperature difference is getting smaller, and the jet stream is getting weaker, Jennifer Francis, a senior scientist at the Woodwell Climate Research Center, told WBUR in Boston.

A weakening jet stream means slower weather patterns, which could lead events like heat waves to last longer.

Over the past 20 years, the Arctic Ocean has warmed so much that air over the sea’s surface forms towers of hot air. These towers travel toward the equator, intensifying the trade winds that lead to El Niño storms.

Over the past 20 years, the Arctic Ocean has warmed so much that air over the sea’s surface forms towers of hot air. These towers travel toward the equator, intensifying the trade winds that lead to El Niño storms.

Polar bears use sea ice to hunt seals, the high-fat prey they need to survive. As ice melts, bears must swim between smallish chunks, which tires them and puts them at higher risk of hypothermia.

Polar bears use sea ice to hunt seals, the high-fat prey they need to survive. As ice melts, bears must swim between smallish chunks, which tires them and puts them at higher risk of hypothermia.

If the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions keep going up as forecasted, Greenland will lose four times more ice this century than it has during any other since the end of the last Ice Age, according to the recent study.

That loss alone could raise sea levels by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters) by the end of the century.

If the world’s greenhouse-gas emissions keep going up as forecasted, Greenland will lose four times more ice this century than it has during any other since the end of the last Ice Age, according to the recent study.

That loss alone could raise sea levels by nearly 4 inches (10 centimeters) by the end of the century.

The Spalte Glacier, above, split off from its parent glacier in late June; it has since crumbled into numerous smaller icebergs, and no longer exists as a distinct glacier.

The Spalte Glacier, above, split off from its parent glacier in late June; it has since crumbled into numerous smaller icebergs, and no longer exists as a distinct glacier.

The 68-year-old Swiss scientist, who spent 30 years tracking Greenland’s disappearing ice, fell into a deep crevasse in August after an ice sheet he was studying buckled beneath him.

“Konrad Steffen died trying to warn the world,” CNN reporter Bill Weir wrote on Twitter.

The 68-year-old Swiss scientist, who spent 30 years tracking Greenland’s disappearing ice, fell into a deep crevasse in August after an ice sheet he was studying buckled beneath him.

Konrad Steffen died trying to warn the world, CNN reporter Bill Weir wrote on Twitter.

Unlike sea ice, melting land ice raises sea levels because it adds more water to the ocean.

Unlike sea ice, melting land ice raises sea levels because it adds more water to the ocean.

In the images above, the ice on the left is the Helheim glacier, while the chunky ice on the right is ice that has broken off into smaller icebergs that float in a fjord.

Between 1972 and 2019, the glacier’s margin — the boundary where its ice is breaking off into the fjord — retreated about 4.7 miles. Today, the Helheim accounts for 4% of Greenland’s annual ice loss.

In the images above, the ice on the left is the Helheim glacier, while the chunky ice on the right is ice that has broken off into smaller icebergs that float in a fjord.

Between 1972 and 2019, the glacier’s margin — the boundary where its ice is breaking off into the fjord — retreated about 4.7 miles. Today, the Helheim accounts for 4% of Greenland’s annual ice loss.

The prediction comes from a 2017 report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That rise in sea levels could cause major American cities – including Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Houston, Texas – to disappear underwater.

The prediction comes from a 2017 report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. That rise in sea levels could cause major American cities – including Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Houston, Texas – to disappear underwater.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.in/science/news/the-arctic-is-on-track-to-lose-more-ice-this-century-than-at-any-point-since-the-end-of-the-ice-age-photos-show-the-dramatic-melting-/slidelist/78734832.cms

Arctic, Ice

World news – CA – The Arctic is on track to lose more ice this century than at any point since the end of the Ice Age. Photos show the dramatic melting.

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