Tech & Science Arctic. The Laptev Sea has not yet frozen, a worrying phenomenon at this time of year

17:10  28 october  2020
17:10  28 october  2020 Source:   ouest-france.fr

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Climate change has reduced sea ice coverage in the Arctic Ocean in recent decades, with 2019 tying for second-lowest in recorded history. The Laptev Sea is referred to as the “birthplace” of Arctic sea ice for producing massive amounts of thin sheets of ice that the wind blows toward the Arctic Ocean

Yet another symptom of man-made climate change. The record high temperatures, in addition to fuelling an outbreak of Arctic wildfires that have burned an area the size of Greece, have warmed ocean waters by more than 5°C. That heat has not yet dissipated, preventing the Laptev Sea from

Le faible niveau de glace dans l'Arctique inquiète les scientifiques (illustration). © NATALIE THOMAS / REUTERS Scientists are worried about the low level of ice in the Arctic (illustration).

The Laptev Sea has not yet frozen over at the end of October, a first since scientists have taken measurements there. This area of ​​the Arctic Ocean located in Siberia is however the cradle of much of the region’s ice. The phenomenon could be due, among other things, to the heatwave which affected the area.

At the end of October, the Laptev Sea in Siberia ( Russia ) has still not frozen over. This is the first time such an observation has been made at this time of year since scientists have been monitoring this part of the Arctic Ocean . The water temperature has also recently reached a level 5 degrees above the usual average, reports The Guardian .

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For the first time since records began, the main nursery of Arctic sea ice in Siberia has yet to start freezing in The trapped heat takes a long time to dissipate into the atmosphere, even at this time of the year Graphs of sea -ice extent in the Laptev Sea , which usually show a healthy seasonal pulse

Laptev Sea , marginal sea of the Arctic Ocean off the coast of Northern Siberia (Russia), bounded by the Taymyr Peninsula (Poluostrov) and the islands of Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by

The finding is all the more worrying as it is in this area that much of the region's water ice originates. Specialists explain the phenomenon by the non-standard heat wave that hit Siberia and the eruption in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. The latter indeed disrupts the process of ice formation.

Less and less thick ice

Climate scientists fear repercussions across the Arctic. American researcher Zachary Labe sees the situation as an expected effect of climate change due to human activity. "Without a systematic reduction in greenhouse gases, the probability of experiencing a first 'ice-free' summer by the middle of the 21st century will continue to increase" , he warns the British media .

Comparing 2020 and 2012 sea ice extents in the Laptev Sea (near Siberia; #Arctic )

* Note that the basin is geographically constrained (same maximum sea ice cover = flat line) pic.twitter.com/sWeF97SYQe

- Zack Labe (@ZLabe) October 27, 2020

This contingency "is only a matter of time" for Walt Meier, a researcher at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center. He recalls that the thickness of the Arctic ice has halved since the 1980s. The Arctic Ocean is also warming at a rate twice as high as the average for world waters.

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