A ticking bomb under the Arctic ice sheet
Scientists have discovered a huge reservoir of warm water located under the Arctic Ocean and penetrating deep into the heart of the polar region. So far, the warm water is still hiding about 50 meters below the ocean surface, but according to the new study, there is a serious risk that it will trigger an avalanche of melting Arctic ice.
The Arctic is changing at a rapid pace. Lod sea is getting thinner and thinner every year, and there is less and less. This is due to rising temperatures around the world. With temperature increases in the polar regions twice as fast as the global average. But it could be even worse. Researchers have identified a new threat. Warm water, whichora has warmed hundreds of kilometersoon, have penetrated deep into the Arctic interior.
This "archived" heat, whichore is currently trapped beneath the surface, could potentially melt entire glaciers in the region if it reaches the surface, scientists say. Research on the subject appeared in the pages of the „Science Advances”.
– We have documented striking ocean warming in one of the majorownych pooloin the inner Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin,” said the head of theoThe paper’s lead author Mary-Louise Timmermans of Yale University.
Scientists discovered the anomalies using older data collected by research ships and those newer data obtained from probes installed deep in the water regarding ice cover, temperature wod on rotion to different depths or changes in salinity levels. Analysis of the data has identified a twofold increase in temperature in the waters of the Canadian Basin over the past 30 years.
The Canadian Basin, which lies on the poNorth of Alaska, consists of mixed layers in theod oceanic waters with cold, fresh water on the surface and saltier waters trapped beneath it. Warm waters have been caught in a trap. Fresh water is lighter than salt water, so it pushed the heavier, salty and heated water underneath itself. Warm, salty waters are somehow insulated by layers of fresh and colder water
Where the warm water under the Arctic came from? Scientists believe that the bringosalt it one of the currentoIn the oceanic so-called. Beaufort Sea vortex. It has collected water heated in the south and will push under the Arctic ice. Except that the current has worked similarly for years, suggesting that the water itself was warmer than usual before it was delivered to the Arctic area.
Waters "archive" heat due to strong solar heating inod surface poof the northern Chukchi Sea, whichore it feeds the Canadian Basin. When lod sea melt, the open water exposed to the sun’s rays heats up, and is then diverted to the poNorth by Arctic winds.
– The effects of sea ice loss are not limited to the regions themselvesoin ice-free areas, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean – Timmermans explained, adding that they are unable to assess what the effects will be.
As wind-pushed warm water reaches the Arctic, it is pushed below a colder layer of less saline water. However, researchers point out that the increasing amount of heated water over the past three decades could mean that we are dealing with a ticking time bomb.
– Currently, heat is trapped below the surface layer. If mixed with the surface layer, there is a high probability that there will be enough heat to completely melt the lod marine, whichory covers the region for most of the year – Timmermans pointed out.