Thanks to the mild temperatures recorded in August, the melting of ice attenuated significantly.
The Arctic ice melt season ended September 13, and has now been officially ended, according to results released by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). This year, the remaining ice area was only 4.64 million square kilometers (about half the area of Brazil), this year was the eighth smallest ice area recorded since 1979, when measurements began made by satellite.
As a general rule, Arctic ice increases throughout the autumn and winter seasons, decreasing from March to September, with sun exposure and summer temperatures of Arctic ice has been declining, a consequence of global warming and climate change.
Now, according to the NSIDC data, this year’s figure is 1.58 million square kilometers below the 1981- 2010 average.
Ted Scambos, an NSIDC researcher, explained that Arctic ice melt was following the path recorded in previous years, with researchers expecting the melt to reach historic levels comparable to those of 2012 when the ice area was only of 3.39 million kilometers. But the milder temperatures recorded in August countered this expectation.
“August weather patterns have saved the day”, the investigator told The Guardian.
The rapid melting of the ice area in the Arctic has major environmental impacts on the planet, and has already been linked to floods, hot flashes and even harsh winters already on the European continent, Asia and North America. “It is inevitable that [the melting]will have an impact on the climate”, said Scambos.
Meanwhile, Rob Downie told the Guardian that “the loss of icy area in the Arctic is the clearest and most visible sign of climate change”, for which “humans are being held accountable”.
The head of the WWF also warned of the rapid rise in global temperatures and called for more measures to be taken to reverse the situation, such as reducing carbon emissions.