The Arctic is undergoing an astonishingly rapid transition as climate change overwhelms the region.
New research sheds light on the latest example of the changes afoot, showing that parts of the Arctic Ocean are becoming more like the Atlantic. Warm waters are streaming into the ocean north of Scandinavia and Russia, altering ocean productivity and chemistry. That’s making sea ice recede and kickstarting a feedback loop that could make summer ice a thing of the past.
“2015 was a really anomalous year when we had problems finding a suitable ice flow to launch our drifting buoys,” Igor Polyakov, an oceanographer at the University of Alaska who led the new study, said. “(There was) nothing like that in the past, and it became a motivation to our analysis: why was ice in 2015 so rotten? What drives this huge change?”
The findings, published in Science on Thursday, show that while warming air has a role to play, processes are playing out in the ocean itself that are fundamentally altering the region.
Originally posted to The Daily Catch
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