Ice cover in the Barents and Kara Seas may become a seasonal phenomenon, observed only in the winter months, already during the beginning of the decade. This was announced to TASS on Sunday by a leading researcher at the Faculty of Geography of Moscow State University named after M.V. Lomonosov Vladimir Ivanov.
“Some of the Arctic marginal seas may become seasonally ice-free in the summer during the decade that has already begun. First of all, these are the seas of the Atlantic Arctic: the Barents and Kara. At the same time, in the year of the record minimum summer ice cover (2012), all marginal seas of the Siberian shelf were completely ice-free for 1-2 weeks, "Ivanov told TASS.
The researcher clarified that in winter "ice in the Arctic will not disappear anywhere." At the same time, the complete clearing of the Arctic Ocean for a period of more than one month in the summer, according to experts, can be observed in 2080-2100, depending on the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions.
"The duration of the ice season is shortening due to the later onset of freezing and earlier breakup. On average, in various regions of the Arctic, later freezing occurs at a rate of + 12-15 days per decade (decade), and an earlier breakup occurs at a rate of 5-8 days per ten days. But these figures vary greatly depending on the geographical area, "he also noted.
The scientist named the main factors contributing to the reduction of the ice cover in the Arctic "Arctic intensification", as a result of which the rate of air temperature rise in the surface layer in this region is approximately 2.5 times higher than the planetary average value, as well as vertical mixing, due to which the upper the layers of water are "warmed up" by the warmer layers in the depths of the ocean.