Severnaya Zemlya in Russian Arctic
Science & Technology

Russian Arctic Losing Billions of Tons of Ice Each Year As Climate Warms

Aerial view of Severnaya Zemlya within the Russian Arctic.

Glaciers and ice caps in two archipelagos within the Russian Arctic are dropping sufficient meltwater to fill practically 5 million Olympic-size swimming swimming pools every year, analysis exhibits.

Satellite tv for pc information means that the quantity of ice misplaced between 2010 and 2018 would put an space the scale of the Netherlands beneath seven toes of water.

Warming of the Arctic Ocean seems to play a key position in accelerating ice loss from two massive teams of islands that border the Kara Sea, researchers say.

The Edinburgh workforce mapped information collected by the European House Company’s CryoSat-2 analysis satellite tv for pc to observe modifications to the floor peak and mass of ice caps and glaciers.

Evaluating these with local weather information for a similar interval revealed a transparent hyperlink between rising atmospheric and ocean temperatures and elevated ice loss from two archipelagos.

The workforce’s evaluation exhibits that the Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya archipelagos – which cowl a mixed space of round 50,000 sq. miles – misplaced 11.4 billion tonnes of ice every year between 2010 and 2018.

Thinning of the ice has already had a significant affect on the soundness of some of the area’s glaciers and ice caps, which may additional enhance ice loss sooner or later, the workforce says.

In comparison with the comparatively small dimension of glaciers, ice caps are massive our bodies of ice a number of hundred meters thick that cowl areas of as much as round 8,000 sq. miles within the area. Some of these retailer ice as much as 12,000 years previous, which supplies scientists with priceless long-term data of the Arctic local weather.

Findings from the examine add to a physique of analysis suggesting that situations within the Arctic Ocean have gotten extra like these within the North Atlantic, which is way hotter.

The examine may assist predict future ice loss in areas experiencing related patterns of atmospheric and ocean temperature change, and enhance international sea degree predictions, the workforce says.

Lead writer Dr Paul Tepes, of the College of Edinburgh’s Faculty of GeoSciences, mentioned: “The Russian Arctic is basically inaccessible, however satellite tv for pc information has enabled us to observe modifications to its ice caps and glaciers. As has been noticed elsewhere on the earth, ice loss within the area is accelerating. As the local weather continues to heat, vital ice loss within the Russian Arctic could have clear impacts for sea degree rise.”

Reference: “Accelerating ice mass loss throughout Arctic Russia in response to atmospheric warming, sea ice decline, and Atlantification of the Eurasian Arctic Shelf Seas” by Paul Tepes, Peter Nienow and Noel Gourmelen, 30 June 2021, Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Earth Floor.
DOI: 10.1029/2021JF006068

The analysis, revealed within the Journal of Geophysical Analysis: Earth Floor, was supported by the European House Company.

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