Remember the Catlin Arctic Survey that we followed so closely earlier this year? That was the team of Pen Hadow, Ann Daniels, and Martin Hartley, who explored the Arctic, taking core ice samples and measuring the thickness of the ice as they went. Well, the preliminary findings from their research is in, and it doesn’t look good.
According to this story from National Geographic’s Adventure Blog, the team’s measurements show that the ice caps for “first year ice”, which is ice that is most recently formed, was less than 1.6 meters in thickness. This is also the ice that is mostly likely to melt away when temperatures increase during the summer months.
With the data on how the current thickness has changed in recent years, and projections going forward, scientists now believe that the ice will be completely gone during the summer months by 2029, although it will continue to form in the colder winter months of course.
I remember how we all marveled when the news spread last year about the opening of the Northwest Passage and how it had become navigable for the first time. Now it appears that in our lifetime, we’ll see the polar ice caps disappear completely, creating a completely different environment at the top of the world. Crazy!
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