Arctic Sea Ice Could Be Gone By 2035, According To Earth’s Climate History
The Arctic could be completely ice-free in summers by 2035, according to a new study that compared present-day conditions with those about 130,000 years ago. The study published in the journal ‘Nature Climate Change’, looked at the last interglacial, a warmer period 130,000–116,000 years ago, as a potential analogue for future climate change. During this period, the nearly 24-hour summertime sunshine at high northern latitudes drove Arctic land summer temperatures 4–5 °C higher than in the pre-industrial era. The Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, meaning that average temperatures have increased by about 2 to 3 °Celsius since the preindustrial period, compared to roughly 1 °C for the planet as a whole. The change is accelerating, too: 0.75 °C of that warming have happened in the last decade. During spring and early summer, shallow pools of water form on the surface of Arctic sea-ice. These so-called melt ponds are important for how much sunlight is absorbed by the ice and how much is reflected back into space. The impact of intense springtime sunshine created many melt ponds, which played a crucial role in sea-ice melt. A study by scientists at Climate Central, a US-based institute, predicts that flooding and inundation due to sea-level increase would impact Mumbai, Chennai and Kochi by 2050.