Something strange is happening in the Arctic and it’s got climate scientists across the planet very concerned.
The usually freezing waters around the North Pole are unusually warm which is stopping the formation of sea ice, a phenomena that’s causing some concern in the scientific community, The Independent reports.
Usually the Sun sets around mid-October and the water begins to freeze up. This year though, higher global temperatures have stopped the ice forming and worse still the ice that is there is melting.
While thinner ice may not sound like a bad thing at first, it could have potentially disastrous consequences. Warmer air will push colder air south affecting the entire world’s weather and throwing the whole system out of whack.
Climate scientists aren’t one hundred per cent convinced that this is the effect of man made climate change, El Nino played havoc with last year’s weather, but they are concerned about the rate of melting.
They’re also reluctant to use the melting of ice as a measure – because it frequently underestimates the effects of changing climate.
Meteorologist Eric Holthaus explained:
Lumping the two together has been a climate denier tactic in the past to mask out the sharp drop in Arctic sea ice in recent years.
Mr Holthaus also cautioned that the growth of ice sheets could potentially be an indicator of climate change as fresh melt water freezes quicker than sea water.