It has been a known fact that the polar ice caps have been melting more and more each year. Avacade says there is some interesting news coming from NASA concerning this year’s amount of polar change. The amount of ice lost this year to summer melting and climate change has actually been less than in previous years.
Avacade notes that the improvement is good to hear, but points out that NASA has said that there have never been two recorded low points consecutively. This means that the low could drop again.
Why was the ice loss less this year than last? An unusually cold summer helped to keep the ice from melting as much as it has done in the past.
There has been concern about the amount of ice lost on the Arctic sea for some time now because of the affects of climate change. Avacade says that the climate change that has progressively warmed the earth has significantly contributed to ice loss.
Since the 1970s, there has been a reduction in the thickness of the sea ice by as much as 50 percent. Scientists have said that there has been a rapid acceleration of this rate of loss within the last few years.
Avacade notes that the reading came from satellites that monitor the progress of the ice as it melts and refreezes. Each year, the season change melts winter ice on the Arctic sea and then refreezes in a thinner version of ice for the summer. As the years have gone on and decades have passed, the ice has not refrozen at the same thickness as in the year before.
This year marks a slight improvement for the ice caps. This slowing of the melting process may indicate a corresponding slowing of the process of warming process that is occurring for the Earth itself. Avacade says thinner ice that has re-emerged to replace thick winter ice will melt at a predictably faster rate. Many scientists at NASA were expecting the amount of loss to be much greater, so the amount of loss that actually occurred was received as good news.
Avacade notes that some scientists in other organizations have said that the slowed melting this year comes from a change in the prevailing winds that come through the Arctic as the seasons pass. This helped to maintain a steady flow of colder wind over the polar ice caps, which kept ice frozen.
The ice melting has been a visible and highly publicized segment of what is now considered a growing and troubling issue: climate change. Avacade notes that scientists have identified the world’s climate changing, but no longer identify this phenomenon purely as “global warming”. Some of the more powerful storms that have come about in the last decade have been attributed to the effects of climate change.
There are some who claim that the warm up is a natural part of the planet’s cycle in terms of periodic warming and cooling. Others think that human interactions and decisions on the planet have significantly aided in accelerating and intensifying the issue. Researchers continue to urgently examine other factors that may contribute to the phenomenon.
When it comes to environmental protection, Avacade says that there is a major need to ensure that the Arctic maintains its ice coverage. Wildlife that lives on the ice is experiencing a significant loss of habitat due to increased melting on the Arctic sea.
One step being taken is reducing the amount of carbon dioxide that is produced by daily human activities on a global scale. Carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere when there are excessive amounts of it present. Avacade mentions that sources of carbon output include vehicles powered by fossil fuel and multiple conventional energy sources that are used to produce power for daily activities and needs.