Melting ice in the Arctic is a faster pace than previously estimated. This is confirmed by new data from the Norwegian Polar Institute. Scientists have found at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean a special sonar, which measures the thickness of the ice and sends the data to researchers.
Until now it was thought that the Arctic ice cap will disappear in no less than 50-100 years. "Such thick ice, as in, say, 1990, we have not found. Based on what we saw, I would not be surprised if in 10 years the Arctic ice has completely melted," — said the TV channel NRK oceanographer Ermond Hansen.
Thus, practically disappeared multi-year ice thickness exceeding 5 meters — in the 90 years they have accounted for 28 percent of all the ice of the Arctic Basin, ITAR-TASS reported. In the winter of 2010 there were 6 percent. In fact, the 90 largest ice thickness decreased from 4.3 to 2.2 meters. This, scientists say, is the result of the fact that "the Arctic Basin has entered a new phase, in which the dynamic and thermodynamic factors together and resulted in a shift in the direction of reducing the thickness of the ice." "The thickness of the perennial ice has decreased so much that is close to the thickness of one-year. Given the current circumstances, they may melt in one summer," — said Hansen.
"This information is not encouraging. Melting will occur very quickly and will have a serious impact on the lives of polar bears, walrus, fish and birds. Moreover, if the ice becomes less and decrease the reflectivity of sunlight from the surface of the Earth. This means that the ocean will be more heat, "- said the Minister of Environment and International Development of Norway, Erik Suleym.
A week ago experts of the National Data Center of the snow and ice of the United States issued his dire predictions for the melting of ice in the Arctic. Their data are somewhat optimistic: Arctic could lose all of its ice by 2100.