The effects of global warming on the arctic ice

If the ice in the Arctic disappears, we will not only barely recognize the North Pole. When the perennial ice in the far north melts, not only does the habitat of polar bears disappear, but we will also notice the changes that could be ahead for the world.

Climate is the weather that prevails in a specific location over an extended period. It encompasses things like temperature, precipitation (rain, snow), wind, and sunlight. Climate can vary from place to place. For example, the climate in the desert is hot and dry, while in the mountains, it can be cold and snowy.

Climate change means that the climate changes over time. Normally, climate changes very slowly, over many years. However, in recent decades, scientists have noticed that climate is changing much faster than before. This is because humans do many things that can influence the climate.

One of the main causes of climate change is the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases are gases released by factories, cars, and other human activities. These gases trap the sun’s heat and do not let it escape, leading to a warming of the Earth. This is called the greenhouse effect. The Arctic sea ice acts like a lid on the polar sea. When the ice disappears, it’s like lifting the lid. Even more greenhouse gases rise from the sea. Climate change is accelerating even further.

The warming of the Earth is particularly evident in the Arctic. As the ice in the Arctic melts, sea levels rise. Coastal areas and islands will become uninhabitable or disappear altogether. However, it’s not the water from the melting ice that causes the sea levels to rise, but the elevated temperatures of the seawater. The warmth causes the water to expand.

The melting of Arctic glaciers releases a large amount of freshwater into the sea. It mixes with the saltwater of the polar sea. Delicate ecosystems is disturbed and even ocean currents can come to a standstill.

Permafrost in the Arctic is also threatened by climate change. Rising temperatures cause permafrost to thaw and become unstable. This has far-reaching effects on the Arctic ecosystem.

When permafrost thaws, large amounts of greenhouse gases such as methane and carbon dioxide can be released. These gases contribute to global warming and further intensify climate change.

Snow is also an important freshwater reservoir. A climate change-induced melting of snow and glaciers threatens this vital water store for humans, animals, and plants.

An ice-free summer in the Arctic is already predicted for the year 2040.