Too late now to save Arctic summer ice, climate scientists find

Even with drastic emissions reductions, ice-free summers are unavoidable, and they are likely to lead to more intense heatwaves and flooding.

Research has proven that it is now too late to conserve the summer Arctic sea ice, and experts advise making preparations for the more harsh weather that will likely spread throughout the northern hemisphere as a result.

Analysis reveals that the Arctic will be ice-free in September in the future decades even if greenhouse gas emissions are drastically decreased. The study also demonstrates that the first summer without ice might not occur until the 2030s, a decade, if emissions fall slowly or continue to climb.

According to the findings, human-caused global warming is to blame for 90% of the melting, with natural causes responsible for the remaining 10%.

One of the most glaring indicators of the climate problem is the summer Arctic ice, which has decreased by 13% a decade since satellite monitoring first started in 1979. September is when Arctic sea ice reaches its yearly minimum, and in 2021 it was at its second lowest extent ever recorded.

Prof. Dirk Notz, a member of the study team from the University of Hamburg in Germany, said, “Unfortunately, it is now too late to save the Arctic summer sea ice. “As scientists, we have long issued warnings on the disappearance of Arctic summer sea ice. This is currently the first significant part of the Earth system that we will lose as a result of global warming. People disregarded our warnings.

This sounds yet another alarm that the predictions we’ve made for other parts of the Earth system will begin to come true in the decades to come.

In 2022, other climate scientists warned that a number of catastrophic tipping points were imminent.

The new study’s principal investigator, Prof. Seung-Ki Min of Pohang University in South Korea, stated that the rise in weather extremes that we are already seeing, such as heatwaves, wildfires, and floods, will have the greatest impact on human society. We must increase our efforts to reduce CO2 emissions while also becoming ready to adapt to the repercussions of the Arctic’s accelerated warming on human society and ecosystems.

If emissions were drastically reduced and global temperature increases were kept to a maximum of 2C, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) came to the conclusion in 2021 that the Arctic would not lose its summer ice. The collapse of summer sea ice, however, is predicted to occur in the 2050s under the low emissions scenario by the new study, which was published in published in the journal Nature Communications

In moderate and high emissions scenarios, the Arctic would lose its summer ice in the 2040s, according to the IPCC assessment. However, the new research pushes that date forward by a decade to the 2030s.

In the study, the researchers first determined the relative contribution of natural variables like variations in the sun’s intensity and emissions from volcanoes and rising greenhouse gases to the melting of ice. According to Notz, “almost all of the loss of Arctic sea ice we have been observing is really human-caused.”

When the researchers utilised this data to simulate future melting, they discovered that the models overestimated the rate of melting in comparison to observations.

Even in the low emissions scenario, quicker melting and an ice-free summer were projected as a result of calibrating the models to be consistent with the data. The study discovered that by around 2080, August and October under the moderate and high emissions scenarios also lose their ice cover.

1 thought on “Too late now to save Arctic summer ice, climate scientists find”

  1. The open ocean effect getting to the ESAS bottom 1,400GT methane clathrate deposits is not part of it, as is a reality. Then there is the effect of slowdown of heat surface to bottom from stratification, and winter heat loss. I think in the fall of 2025 it will reach the point of sudden 164X expansion into methane gas to the atmosphere, with shockwaves setting off nearby deposits. First Arctic heat setting off more in both the bottom deposits and the tundra 1050GTs. With “the methane veil” traveling south in 6 months or so. Thermal gain +1*C/year globally, until thermal max with high humidity causing global reflective cloud cover, and continuous storms for 100K years before cyanobacteria can begin restoration and millions of years to re-evolve life larger than 1mm on the surface. There no longer is time for a large enough aerosol event to stop the “methane turnover” process, and the time to be globally at zero emissions was 1950. Too bad, so much wonderful life we take with us because of our own overbreeding, stupidity, and greed.

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