The Arctic Ocean could soon run out of ice at the start of an autumn, researchers warn

A team of researchers has calculated that the Arctic could soon be ice-free in September for the first time since records began, and this could happen this year.

Arctic Ocean

Between 2035 and 2067, the Arctic could be permanently ice-free in September, according to the study published in the scientific journal Nature Reviews Earth & Environment, writes Agerpres.

The researchers, led by Alexandra Jahn from the University of Colorado in Boulder, a city in the United States, explain that individual events characterized by large ice losses, such as unusual heat over several weeks, could lead to a September no ice this year or soon after.

Records show that September is the month with the least amount of ice accumulated in the Arctic sea ice. In the 1980s, 5.5 million square kilometers of the Arctic Ocean were still covered by ice in September.

Since satellite measurements of the ice sheet began in 1978, its area has shrunk by an average of 78,000 square kilometers per year, although various feedback systems have ensured that the ice area has increased slightly again in some years recent, despite ongoing climate changes.

“Overall, atmospheric variability accounts for about 75% of the internal variability of Arctic sea ice”, the authors of the study wrote. The amount of ice therefore depends to a large extent on the respective meteorological conditions and, to a lesser extent, on the warmer water entering that area from the neighboring oceans.