A massive block of ice in the Arctic along the Greenland coastline is breaking apart. The scientists blame global warming for this. However, what makes this ice block unique is that it is the oldest ice in the Arctic.
“We’ve never seen anything this large in terms of an opening north of Greenland,” according to Ted Scambos, a polar expert at the National Snow and Ice Data Center, and a collaborator with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
This block of ice is the oldest and thickest in the Arctic region. While usually wind and currents send lots of ice up against the Greenland northern coastline.
“It’s like a crowd entering a stadium,” Scambos explained. “It’s sort of pushed by the ice behind it until it’s packed really tight, and that’s made it thick and durable,” the researcher continued. But, now, this oldest ice in the Arctic is breaking apart due to global warming.
Global warming significantly impacts the Arctic region
“In this area north of Greenland, what we’re seeing is that the ice is so thin and sort of loosely packed that a few days of strong winds in an unusual direction can push the ice away from the coast that it always collided within its drift pattern,” Ted Scambos said.
While the scientists thought they are thoroughly monitoring the global warming effects on the Arctic region, the break up of the northern ice block of Greenland reveals that the climate change is also changing how ice moves.
And, besides the immediate negative impact the warming has on the Arctic ecosystem, the ocean currents, ice floes and wind patterns in this region also affect the jet streams with repercussions on the climate of the Northern Hemisphere.
As Ted Scambose pointed out, without the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is the primary cause for global warming worldwide and, notably, in the polar regions where now the oldest ice in the Arctic is breaking apart.
Jasmine holds a Master’s in Journalism from Ryerson University in Toronto and writes professionally in a broad variety of genres. She has worked as a senior manager in public relations and communications for major telecommunication companies, and is the former Deputy Director for Media Relations with the Modern Coalition. Jasmine writes primarily in our LGBTTQQIAAP and Science section.