Strongest sea ice in the Arctic breaks for the first time

  • Strongest sea ice in the Arctic breaks for the first time

Strongest sea ice in the Arctic breaks for the first time

Thomas Lawren scientists meteorological Institute called the event "terrible".

One meteorologist described the phenomenon - recorded for the first time this year - as "scary", and scientists said it could prove catastrophic for polar bears and seals. This area is often called the "last ice area", as here, according to preliminary data, is the last in the Arctic sea ice.

Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute said: "Almost all of the ice to the north of Greenland is quite shattered and broken up and therefore more mobile". "On average, it's over 4 meters [13 feet] thick and can be piled up into ridges 20 m [65 feet] thick or more". The ice there is so old and thick that scientists believed the shelf would be the last to remain intact in the area in the face of climate change. But in February and in early August, it noted the unusually warm periods, and drifting ice retreated to a great distance from the coast.

Sea ice extent in the Greenland Sea has been at or near record lows for most of the year, and Atlantic-side ice cover has set record low levels for two years running. This thick, compacted ice, as a rule, hard moves.

The oldest ice in the Arctic did not survive global warming.

This could devastate the local polar bear population, Wadhams said, as the steep cliffs on the north coast of Greenland is where a lot of the animals have their dens.

"They can't swim very far. The ice is being pushed away from the coast by the winds".

This week, NASA's Oceans Melting Greenland project will be returning to the Arctic waters around Greenland for its third year in a row gathering data on the frozen ecosystem, and how the oceans around Greenland are melting its glaciers.

He told the Guardian: "I can not tell how long this open water patch will remain open, but even if it closes in few days from now, the harm will be done: the thick old sea ice will have been pushed away from the coast, to an area where it will melt more easily".