Scientists are warning that the Arctic could become free of sea ice much sooner than anticipated, indicating that the climate crisis is progressing at a faster pace than predicted due to the continued release of pollution that heats the planet.
A recent study published in the journal Nature Communications reveals that Arctic sea ice may vanish entirely as early as the 2030s. Even with significant reductions in planet-heating pollution, the researchers report that the Arctic could experience ice-free summers by the 2050s.
What Did The Study Entail?
The study's analysis involved examining changes from 1979 to 2019, comparing satellite data and climate models to evaluate the transformations in Arctic sea ice. The findings indicate that the decline in sea ice is primarily caused by human-induced pollution that heats the planet, and previous projections have underestimated the rate of Arctic sea ice melting.
Seung-Ki Min, the lead author of the study and a professor at Pohang University of Science and Technology in South Korea, expressed surprise at the discovery that an ice-free Arctic will occur during the summer, regardless of efforts to reduce emissions.