Arctic Ocean Temperature Soars as Almost All Old Arctic Sea Ice is Gone

Temperatures near the entrance to the Arctic Ocean in northwest Russia reached a record-shattering 84 degrees Fahrenheit, in an area where temperatures are normally 30 degrees colder at this time of year.

This extreme warming comes as recorded sea ice hit record-lows for the Arctic Ocean in April. Almost all sea ice that was more than four years old is gone, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

In 1988, sea ice that was at least 4 years old accounted for 26% of all Arctic sea ice. By 2013, ice of at least 4 years old was only 7% of Arctic sea ice.

Sometime in the near future, it is highly probable that the Arctic will no longer have sea ice, a Blue Ocean Event (BOE).

A BOE is not considered a complete meltdown. A BOE would first occur in the summer according to researchers and ice could still refreeze in the winter. If the ice cannot refreeze in the winter, it would be a worst-case scenario never seen in recorded human history.

 

 

Photo: “Polar Bears on Thin Ice” by Christopher Michel is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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