Location: Umeå, Sweden
These are some of the things we would be facing if the ice in the Arctic Ocean vanished completely every summer.
NASA has released a visualization of sea ice in the Arctic that shows a dramatic loss of perennial ice in the Arctic Circle within the last 35 years.
If it continues – and Mark Serreze, Director of the National Snow & Ice Data Center, says it’s almost certain that it has gone on too long to reverse the effects – we may be learning to navigate a drastically changed world by the 2050s.
“Probably a few decades from now, you’ll go out and look at the Arctic and there won’t be any sea ice there at all,” Serreze told CTVNews.ca in a phone interview. “(This data) means that we are headed to a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean.”
New sheets of sea ice spread and melt with the seasons, but the Arctic Circle has always been covered with a percentage of older ice, or perennial ice, which survives seasonal changes. This is why in the dead of summer there is still ice at the top of the world.
According to the new data, accumulated by the NSIDC and visualized by NASA, in the first week of January in 1984, the area in the Arctic Ocean covered by sea ice older than four years was over 3.1 million square kilometres.
By contrast, in the first week of January in 2019, NASA found that the area covered by the older sea ice had plunged down to only 116,000 square kilometres.
This means that perennial ice in the Arctic Circle has shrunk by more than 95 per cent in only 35 years.
Serreze said that if someone were to stand today at Point Barrow – the northern-most point of the U.S., in Alaska – and look out to the north, they would “find no sea ice for probably 450 miles.
“Normally you should find it still fairly close to the shore at this time of the year,” he said. “That’s kind of an example of these huge changes we’re seeing.”
The ramifications of this could be massive, Serreze said, from environmental effects to cultural ones, threatening the safety and livelihoods of entire communities.
“The people who live (in northern communities) are being affected because their Indigenous hunting practices are being affected,” Serreze said. “They can’t get out onto the ice. Same with the polar bears and the walrus can’t get out on the ice.”
One of my favourite things about frosty weather❄️
Three North American Ice Falls – The Fortean: undefined
On the morning of Sunday, March 4th, a woman walked to the very same lake and spotted a series of mysterious ice circles on the lake’s frozen surface. Coincidence? Contact? Something else?
Let’s start with the location. Shuswap Lake is in south-central British Columbia, Canada, and is known for (among other things) its odd shape – the four fingers of the lake look like the letter H from the air. The name comes from the Shuswap or Secwepemc First Nations people and it’s now a popular recreational lake centered around the city of Salmon Arm, which gets ITS name from the fish and the lake’s appendage. Besides salmon and trout, Shuswap Lake is Like many other lakes, Shuswap Lake has a legendary 25-foot long monster known as the Shuswap Lake Monster or Shuswaggi.
Cladonia species and ice – 2/2018 at Mazomanie Oak Barrens, Wisconsin