Indian researchers warn major drop in Arctic sea ice

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Indian researches exploring the polar region has warned against the drop in Arctic sea ice, which has led to localized increase in evaporation, air humidity, cloud cover, and rainfall.

The researchers under the National Centre of Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR) said that decline in Arctic sea ice was an indicator of climate change and has strong retaliatory effects on the climate system.

The NCPOR noted that the largest decline in Arctic sea ice in the past 41 years happened in July 2019. It said that the ice has been declining at a rate of ‘-4.7 percnt’ per decade in the last 40 years. However, the rate of decline was found to be ‘-13%’ in July 2019, they said. “If this trend continues, there would be no ice left in the Arctic sea by 2050, which would be dangerous for humanity and the entire environment” an official release said.

With the help of satellite data collected from 1979 to 2019, NCPOR has tried to understand the rate of surface warming and the changes in global atmospheric circulation. The study has also pointed out that the decrease of Arctic sea ice area and the increase in the duration of summer and autumn seasons have affected the local weather and climate over the Arctic Ocean and its marginal seas.

Noting that it was a sensitive indicator of climate change, they said that the loss of ice cover in the Arctic sea had strong effects on other components of the climate system such as prevention or reduction of heat and momentum, water vapour, and other material exchange between the atmosphere and the sea. They also said that the most worrying aspect was that the volume of ice formation during winters was not able to keep pace with the volume of ice loss during summers.

Dr Avinash Kumar, a senior scientist at NCPOR, who is involved in the research, said that the study showed that global ocean atmospheric warming has enhanced the Arctic sea ice loss. Although there are no extreme weather events recorded this year, an accelerated decline in sea-ice extent and sea-ice volume in summer 2019 was dominant, and also the northern hemisphere has experienced record high-temperature risee specially during the  Spring and summer months,” he said.

He mentioned that the loss of sea ice at this rate was a matter of concern and would have catastrophic impact.

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