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Climate change discovery: Sea ice in Arctic rivers melting internally
The world is also battling the long-term effects of climate change in the form of rising temperatures and growing holes in the ozone layer. Scientists have now revealed that the sea ice within the Arctic is now melting due to the warming planet.
A study by an international group of scientists found that part of the cause of the melting sea ice in the Arctic region between 1980 and 2015 was due to river heat. This is equal to losing 120,000 square miles of ice that is one meter thick. The findings were published in the journal Science Advances and suggest that the recent findings were actually twice the amount compared to before.
“If Alaska were covered in one-meter thick ice, 20 percent of Alaska would be gone,” said Igor Polyakov of the University of Alaska who is also co-author of the study.
“The increasing ice-free area in the shelf seas results in a warmer ocean in summer, enhancing ocean-atmosphere energy exchange and atmospheric warming,” wrote the researchers in the study. According to their findings, the effects of river heat on the ice were most prominent in the Siberian Arctic, as there are a number of large rivers that flow into the shallow shelf region extending nearly 1,000 miles offshore.
As the global temperatures increase, Dr. Polyakov said that the rivers will grow warmer and lead to more melted sea ice. Because the river temperatures will rise, it will prove to be bad for the Arctic in the form of water and air.
Rising sea levels are just one of the long-term effects of climate change. The changing temperatures of the world will also lead to animals losing their habitats. Researchers have already warned that climate change has already led to a loss of habitat for animals by 18 percent, which is already a big number, but if no action was taken as soon as possible, that number would only go up by the end of the century.
Should more animals lose their habitats, they would be forced to live closer to humans and increase the probability of humans contracting zoonotic diseases. This means diseases that originate from animals that transfer onto humans.