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Polar research : Eisnachschub in the Arctic falters

more and more in front of Russia formed ice melts on its way into the Central Arctic. The impact on the Ecosystem, write to German researchers from the Bremerhaven Alfred-Wegener-Institute (Awi) for Polar and marine research in the journal "Scientific Reports". Because if the ice, for reasons of climate change, melt at an early stage, not to be distributed to the trapped nutrients in the North polar sea. In the long term is not to be expected that as a result, the Arctic is changing not only physically, but also biologically and chemically, said Awi researcher Eva-Maria Said: "The extent we do not know yet."

The suspended solids sink to the tu early in depth

In the so-called Russian marginal seas of the Arctic ocean to continue the Awi to be in the Winter during sea ice, because the air temperatures are extremely low – up to minus 40 degrees. A strong, offshore Wind, pushes the shallow water formed young ice on the sea. A part of this ice travels through the TRANS-polar drift, as on a conveyor belt within two to three years, once across the Central Arctic to the FRAM Strait. In this part of the sea between Greenland and Spitsbergen, it eventually melts. Around 20 years ago, about half of the marginal seas formed ice reached the Central Arctic. Meanwhile, there were only 20 percent, the researchers write. The bulk melt ahead of time.

The satellite image, taken by an ESA satellite on 26. March 2019, shows the process of the new isbildung along ESA/drift noise/AWI/dpa

zones produced sea ice reaches There is less and less in the flat coast to the FRAM Strait, there is less and less suspended solids and minerals that are trapped during Freezing of the water in the sea ice. The show analyses, the Awi biologists for two decades in the FRAM Strait. With the early melt of the sea ice, the particles sink used to be. In the Awi constructed sediment traps in the FRAM Strait, you will always find less Siberian minerals, said there was need to.

summer in the Arctic without sea ice?

The researchers tracked the migration of the sea ice using satellite data from the years 1998 to 2017. "That ice, which today is the FRAM Strait reached, is formed for the most part, not in the marginal seas, but originates from the Central Arctic," said Thomas Krumpen, also Awi-researchers. "We are currently witness to an important transport ow, and the world comes to a sea ice free summer in the Arctic a big step closer."

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the result of the study is Confirmed by measurements of sea ice thickness in the FRAM Strait. "Ice cream, the leaves today, the Arctic is through the FRAM Strait, is about 30 percent thinner than it was even 15 years ago," said Krumpen. Reasons for this are the increasing temperatures in Winter and earlier beginning of the end of the melting season in the summer. (dpa)

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