American researchers have conducted a study in order to sound a final alarm before the Arctic completely loses all of its pack ice. In fact, the Arctic could soon have its very summer completely without ice.
In February this year, temperatures in the Arctic beat records for “heat”, rising over 0°C for several days. Remember that in the 2015 Paris agreement, it was stipulated that the goal was to “keep the elevation of the average planetary temperatures well below 2°C compared to pre-industrial levels and to take action to limit the rise in temperatures to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels”.
The fact is that a new study, which appeared on the 2nd April 2018 in the journal Nature Climate Change, estimates that a difference of 0.5°C could signal the end of the Arctic ice. Alexandra Jahn, a scientist in the University of Colorado (United States) and the leader of the study, estimates that the probability of an ice-free summer in the Arctic in 2100 will be reduced by 30 to 100% if the rise in planetary temperatures can be contained to 1.5°C.
That is to say that if this number is surpassed, we could have a 70% risk of the Arctic being stripped completely of its pack ice between now and the end of the century. A second study, this time led by Michael Sigmond of the University of Toronto (Canada), confirms Alexandra Jahn’s conclusions. Sigmond’s study was published on the same day, also in Nature Climate Change.
Last year, it was proven that the Arctic ice cap was melting at a speed that had not been seen in the past 1500 years. In fact, the percentage of ancient ice making up the pack ice, or that which survives every summer, has dropped to 21%, while the same number was at 45% in 1985!