New research shows that the Sea Ice from the Arctic Ocean is melting, but it doesn’t show when this will happen. The Arctic could be ice-free in the following 20 years. This is the best estimation that the specialists could provide for now.
“We can predict that sea ice is going to decline as long as we continue emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. But when it will be gone – that is like trying to predict a white Christmas, now,”
says Alexandra Jahn, an atmospheric and oceanic scientist at the University of Colorado, and lead author of the new study.
Although predicting when the ice will melt is totally impossible, many people try to do just that. For example, in 2008, researchers from Canada predicted that the Arctic would be free of ice by 2015. As we can see, their estimations were not accurate.
Another attempt in predicting this event is the forecast made by Peter Wadhams, the physicist at the University of Cambridge. He mentioned, in June 2015, that the ice in the Arctic will be totally melted by September 2015. After this, he made another announcement to the Guardian, this August, speculating that the ice-melting will occur next summer in 2017.
If scientists keep making this type of predictions they risk losing their credibility, and it is better if they stick to the general result that the melting will occur within the next 20 years.
The problem here is that no matter when this is going to happen really, it is not a good event, and it could damage the species living in the Arctic. For instance, the polar bears will lose their habitat because ships will start to navigate on the Arctic Oceans even before the ice is totally melted. The bears are already seeking food in other places, and they could start to hunt people if the Ocean does not provide the necessary food for them.
This fascination for the Arctic Ocean made several scientists second guess their predictions and lose their credibility over it. Despite this, the important matter is that no matter when the Arctic Ocean will be ice-free, it is going to affect the animals and the humans as well. So let’s hope that this is not going to happen too soon.
Do you think that the sea ice will be totally melted in the next 20 years?
Image source: Wikipedia