Study says Arctic would be almost ice-free by 2040

08 May 2017

The Arctic sea would be almost free of sea ice by 2040 - the earlier estimate was 2070 - according to a new report.

The new research claims the Arctic sea had been thawing at a rapid pace over the past three decades, causing a drop of more than 50 per cent in the ice.

According to the latest evaluation conducted by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, which included more than 90 scientists, projections for the melting of the Arctic sea had been ''underestimated''. The report found that the region had been warming twice as fast as the rest of the world for the past 50 years.

Further, the snow cover in the Arctic regions had significantly decreased, the report said.

According to the scientists, though the point of no return for the ice had passed, efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could help mitigate some of the predicted impacts of climate change on the Arctic and the rest of the world.

The melting of glaciers in the Arctic had impacted the incidence of droughts, floods and heat waves. The warming in the Arctic affected the ocean currents and the winds which affected the monsoon across the world, thereby affecting food production and cropping patterns. This would also cause sea levels to rise, which in turn would affect coastal cities.

Meanwhile, a planetary scientist at Arizona State University (ASU) has proposed a massive scheme to add more ice to the Arctic, News Nation reports.

Author Sid Perkins in an article published in May 2017 edition of Science News Magazine explained the logic behind ASU professor Steven Desch's plan to save the world.

According to Desch, the thicker ice in the Arctic would trap more heat and this could help in cutting down the global temperature.

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