Energy & Environment

Arctic’s oldest and thickest sea ice breaks for first time

The oldest and most robust sea ice in the Arctic has reportedly begun breaking up for the first time in recorded history. 

The Guardian reported on Tuesday that the ice breaks, which result in water opening up north of Greenland, have happened twice in 2018 because of warm winds and a heat wave caused by climate change. 

{mosads}The sea off the northern coast of Greenland was once referred to as “the last ice area” because of how perpetually frozen it normally is. It was also believed that it would be one of the final northern areas to be impacted by the world’s hotter temperatures. 

An unusual increase in temperature in February and August have left it susceptible, however, The Guardian reported.

The newspaper noted that the warm winds have pushed the ice farther away from the coast than at any time since satellite records started being kept in the 1970s. 

“Almost all of the ice to the north of Greenland is quite shattered and broken up and therefore more mobile,” Ruth Mottram of the Danish Meteorological Institute told The Guardian. “Open water off the north coast of Greenland is unusual. This area has often been called ‘the last ice area’ as it has been suggested that the last perennial sea ice in the Arctic will occur here. The events of the last week suggest that, actually, the last ice area may be further west.” 

Earlier this month, a study released by PLOS Medicine predicted that heat waves could increase by up to 2,000 percent in certain parts of the world by 2080 as a result of climate change. 


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