Last time, the cold Siberia attracted global attention when continuously setting high temperature records; The heat wave caused by climate change has caused the region’s average temperature to reach nearly 40 degrees, not to mention the area’s forests are still burning. That’s not all: the heat that makes the Arctic sea in northern Siberia, an area known by scientists as the Arctic ice factory, is melting.
In fact, data show that the ice cover over the entire Arctic Ocean, specifically in the areas of the Laptev and Barents seas, is at a record low. If they continue to melt, we will have another sad record again in September. In the near future, the Arctic will change dramatically, as temperatures here rise more than twice the global average.
Satellite imagery shows wildfire in Siberia.
“We are in the middle of this large-scale test”, Said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center. He explained that the “test” was a combination of local and global factors that made the ice melt faster and faster.
One of those factors appeared last winter. In February, a stream of polar swirling air – a belt of atmospheric winds surrounding the Arctic region – intensified. When approaching the surface of the Earth, this airflow creates a pressure zone called Arctic Oscillation (AO). When the AO is positive, the wind will blow northward, from mainland Siberia to the sea and, at the same time, push ice off the Arctic Ocean.
“These winds push the old ice off the coast, leaving a very thin layer of iceAndrea Lang, assistant professor of atmospheric science at the University of Albany, told Motherboard. “Thin ice melts and exposes seawater to the high temperatures of the hot season, which is no longer covered by years of ice”.
Spring comes, the sun and higher temperatures make the ice melt faster. According to a recent analysis of the World Weather Attribution international project on the possible impact of climate change, Siberian heatwaves are “almost impossible” without the effects of climate change.
The heat peaked in mid-June, when the high-pressure air range brought the temperature of Verkhoyansk town area to 37.7 degrees Celsius, a record high in local history. Glaciers also melt because of the high temperature.
Glaciers melt in the harsh, rarely seen sunlight.
The high pressure range that causes the Siberian heatwaves has moved north of the central Arctic Ocean, making the region’s temperatures around 10 degrees Celsius above average. In the first half of July, the heat caused the Arctic to lose a huge amount of ice every day, the area of ice is equivalent to 42 times the loss of Hanoi. According to director Serreze, the Siberian fire formed a layer of black ash covering the ice surface, absorbing more of the solar energy.
By Monday, the sea ice had almost disappeared from the Siberian Sea, and the ice level across the Arctic was equivalent to the annual low level, which usually occurs only in September each year (within the 1990s). The melting season is not over yet, it is not clear how low the ice level will be this September and whether it will break the sad record set in 2012.
If the Arctic weather is more cloudy in the future, the thawing “will slow down easily”; If so, this phenomenon will be similar to what happened last August. However, researchers still have another concern: the great Arctic storms are capable of defeating the already weak sea of ice.
No matter what the sea ice is in the last months of 2020, what happens this year is remarkable. Much of the sea ice formation takes place on the northern coast of Siberia, where the ice will form in the fall and winter and then gradually head out to sea. Because so much of the surface is exposed, they absorb a lot of heat from the Sun and slow the process of ice formation, which in turn will affect the region’s “ice cycle”.
Then when the effects of many years of accumulation, the time will come when the Arctic sea ice is no longer in shape, but it turns into sea level flooding many coastal areas in the world.