Disappearing Ice (I)


Disappearing Ice (I)

Written by Alfonso Elizondo


The last Conference of the American Geophysical Union a few days ago pointed to the magnitude of the changes now occurring in the Arctic, where ice levels have dropped alarmingly to reach the levels of the 1950s and maybe levels of several centuries ago. This is due to the fact that the impact of human life has disturbed the cycles in the Arctic Oscillation, causing a significant rise in ocean temperatures and a rise in sea levels all around the world.


This summer 10 million square kilometers of ice were lost in the Arctic, and at this rate in 50 years 20% of the ice cap that circles the North Pole will disappear and the ice in this region could be completely lost during the summer periods.


According to a report by the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), it is likely that ice levels in the Arctic this summer were the lowest since the 1950s and perhaps the lowest in the last few centuries.

According to estimates by Mark Serreze and his colleagues of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, this summer the Arctic ice cap covered 6.5 million square kilometers, but last summer it only covered 5.5 million.


These calculations are based on studies done via satellite and are reinforced by estimates of the change in Greenland, where the ice has also disappeared as never before since 1979, when satellites were used to observe this phenomenon.

From 1979 until today, the ice in Greenland has melted by 16% and this rapid change in the Arctic points to serious consequences that cannot yet be measured. One phenomenon that they have been able to verify is the blocking of what is known as the Arctic Oscillation, which is a regular cycle of air circulation over the North Pole.


Since the eighties, this cycle has been partially interrupted, causing chronic low pressures in the Arctic that lead to spring storms and warmer summers and increase the disappearance of the ice.

Addendum: I will finish this topic in the next post.