NASA: the reduction of Arctic ice in summer has reached record values

© NASA / GISS/GSFCПлощадь ice in the Arctic on 13 September 2017NASA: the reduction of Arctic ice in summer has reached record values© NASA / GISS/GSFC

The shrinking ice in the Arctic during the summer for the fourth year reaches record values for all history of observations of the North polar cap is 4.6 million square kilometers, which is almost 1.6 million below the averages for the past 20 years, according to NASA.

«How much shrinking ice cap of the Arctic in the summer, not only depends on summer temperature but also in the condition of the ice in the winter. This summer was absolutely unremarkable in terms of climate. What we all recorded a record low area of summer ice, says that today, the ice are in much worse shape than 38 years ago,» said Claire Parkinson (Claire Parkinson), a leading climate scientist from space flight Center of NASA Goddard (USA).

As noted by Parkinson, this year was not the record for the last four years – a record for the maximum reduction of area of ice still belongs to 2012, when the size of the polar ice cap shrank to 3.41 million square kilometers. However, the summer of 2017 entered the top ten in terms of the reduction of Arctic sea ice in the entire history of observations.

On the other hand, explains the scientist, this reduction is very disturbing, because this year, unlike the three previous record summers, the Arctic has experienced no weather anomalies that could temporarily strengthen the process of ice melting.

In addition, NASA does not exclude the possibility that the ice will continue to decline in September due to a sharp change in wind direction.

The reason for the reduction of ice this year, according to the researchers, could be a strong summer rains in the Arctic, whose relatively warm water could accelerate the melting of ice caps. This became possible due to the fact that the average ice thickness in the Arctic has fallen markedly in recent years, which made the polar cap is more vulnerable to the effects of various weather phenomena.

Similar processes, as noted by Parkinson, take place in Antarctica, where now reigns the winter polar cap is gradually increasing. Its growth, scientists expect will stay low, which will continue the series «records», launched in 2015. If we consider the ice of the Arctic and Antarctic together, then, according to a climatologist, all the eight last months of 2017 set new records in speed of the polar caps.