A scientist from the Danish Meteorological Institute has taken a dramatic photo which highlights the extent of Arctic sea ice melt.
While in Greenland this Thursday (June 13) Steffen Olsen, a climate researcher, took a photo which appeared to show his sled dogs miraculously splashing across the surface of a huge lake.
In fact Steffen was on a half-melted ice sheet which was so badly thawed that a lake had appeared on its surface, the water was just shallow enough his dogs could run across the ice creating the illusion they were channelling the powers of Christ.
Communities in #Greenland rely on the sea ice for transport, hunting and fishing. Extreme events, here flooding of the ice by abrupt onset of surface melt call for an incresed predictive capacity in the Arctic @BG10Blueaction @polarprediction @dmidk https://t.co/Y1EWU1eurA
— Steffen M. Olsen (@SteffenMalskaer) June 14, 2019
The ice sheet, which is located in an inlet called Inglefield Bredning in northwest Greenland, is believed to be suffering from the effects of an extreme melting event caused by a massive spike in temperatures.
This Thursday alone Greenland reportedly lost 2 billion metric tons of ice and across the Arctic sea ice is now at a record low for this time of year.
Scientists are aware that spikes in temperature like this aren’t exactly rare in Greenland, but researchers are saying these hot spells are becoming more extreme and frequent.
Luke Trusel, a geologist at Rowan University told Mashable:
We see now that it’s melting faster than at any point in at least the last three and a half centuries, and likely the last seven or eight millennia.
— Greenland (@greenlandicesmb) June 14, 2019
Arctic researcher and a current board director at the National Academies of Sciences also told Mashable that things were so bad scientists were losing the ability to communicate the magnitude of change.
And while melting ice may not sound like the end of the world it actually might be, with melting ice sheets having the potential to do real damage to the planet’s delicate systems and humankind.
On a local level, those living in Greenland who rely on the ice sheets for transport, hunting and fishing face major disruption if the ice melts, but melting ice threatens more than indigenous fishermen.
Just to be clear, this is showing the area where melt is occurring, not the volume of ice melted. And it's comparable to 2012, where melt extent was larger earlier in the month.
— Matthew Henry (@mattjohenry) June 13, 2019
If the Arctic ice sheets collapse species native to the Arctic like Polar Bears and seals will be forced to migrate further south or face extinction, putting pressure on other ecosystems.
Furthermore dumping all that water into the oceans will have huge impacts on the Earth’s natural climate systems, potentially causing bizarre unpredictable weather patterns that could threaten shipping lanes and coastal settlements.
Whichever way you slice it, all this melting ice proves humanity is in hot water.
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More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
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