Ice has melted at record speeds this summer in the Arctic, scientists warn this is could be an accelerating trend with detrimental consequences. Ice is becoming thinner.
Last month saw the annual thaw reach its lowest level in 30 years. Scientists believe this could have an impact on weather conditions thousands of miles away.The ice is still thawing as we speak and is set to continue to do so until mid this month.
Dr Holmen from the Norwegian Polar Institute said: “It is a greater change than we could even imagine 20 years ago, even 10 years ago,” as reported by the BBC.
“And it has taken us by surprise and we must adjust our understanding of the system and we must adjust our science and we must adjust our feelings for the nature around us.”
Research shows that a dramatic decrease in oceans ice will change the directions of jet streams, and high-altitude winds that dictate weather patterns, including rain and storms.
“The course and speed of the jet stream is governed by the difference in temperature between the Tropics and the Arctic, so a change on the scale being observed now could be felt across Europe and beyond,” reported the BBC.
Sadly for Europe this could mean more rain. “For northern Europe it could mean much more precipitation, while southern Europe will become drier so there are large scale shifts across the entire continent,” explained Dr Holmen.
While the Arctic’s conditions are exceptionally hard to read and research is in its early stages, Holmen believes expects more of these results.”
This is not some short-lived phenomenon – this is an ongoing trend,” he says. “It is accelerating – you can just look at the graphs, the observations, and you can see what’s happening.”
Image: Think Stock