The Arctic loses 5 million Olympic pools of ice every year

Research shows that glaciers in two archipelagos in the Arctic are losing enough meltwater to fill nearly five million Olympic-sized pools each year.

Satellite data suggests that the amount of ice that melted between 2010 and 2018 would put an area the size of the Netherlands more than 2 meters underwater.

The warming Arctic Ocean appears to be playing a key role in accelerating ice loss from two large island groups bordering the Kara Sea, the researchers say.

A team at the University of Edinburgh mapped data collected by the European Space Agency’s CryoSat-2 research satellite to track changes in surface height and mass in ice caps and glaciers.

Research shows that glaciers and ice caps in two archipelagos in the Russian Arctic are losing enough meltwater to fill nearly five million Olympic-sized pools each year. As a result of this comparison, the authors found that there is a relationship between the increase in temperature of the atmosphere and ocean and the increase in ice loss on the two archipelagos.

The team’s analysis shows that the Novaya Zemlya and Severnaya Zemlya archipelagos, which cover a total area of ​​about 129.5 thousand square kilometers, lost 11.4 billion tons of ice between 2010 and 2018.

Thinning ice has already had a major impact on the stability of some of the region’s glaciers and ice caps, which could further increase ice loss in the future, the authors of the new study say.

The team said the study could help predict future ice loss in regions with similar atmospheric and ocean temperature patterns, as well as improve global sea level forecasts.

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Alexandr Ivanov earned his Licentiate Engineer in Systems and Computer Engineering from the Free International University of Moldova. Since 2013, Alexandr has been working as a freelance web programmer.
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Alexandr Ivanov

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