A recent report complied by environmental experts stated an alarming find: The rapid rate in which the Arctic Ocean's ice caps are melting may mean that the sea ice will cease to exist within the next 20-25 years.
Scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) released preliminary figures last week, suggesting that Arctic sea ice has reached it lowest level in recorded history. The Arctic sea ice has been monitored since 1979, and according to the data on September 16th Arctic ice extent noted drop of at least 45% since records began and measured at 3.41 million sq. km.
The previous record low for Arctic sea ice extent, set on September 18, 2007 with a 4.17-million sq.-km. ice cap, was already shattered by the end of August this year when it had melted to below 4-million sq. km.
The depleting ice cover would have serious ramifications for the planet, as Arctic ice acts as a reflector of sunlight, helping regulate the Earth’s temperature and cooling the climate.
“When there’s no longer that sea ice below the air mass and it’s just open ocean, that’s when more moisture off the ocean’s surface gets into the atmosphere and the water vapor in the atmosphere makes for more violent storms,” John Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist with the Cryosphere Climate Research Group, explained.
“We can also expect to see an increase in storm frequency and storm intensity for most of the world’s populated places as the Arctic and Earth continues to warm,” he added.