Friday, February 17, 2017

Expert explains reasons behind record-breaking decline of Arctic ice volumes

The record-breaking decline of the Arctic ice volumes registered by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is associated with the extremely warm summer in the Arctic region last year and ice forming one month later than usually, deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute Alexander Danilov said on Friday in a comment on the WMO release.

"Our data correspond to WMO conclusions. Summer in 2016 was record warm and ice in the Russian Arctic, particularly in the Kara Sea, started forming one month later than usually," Danilov said.

Cyclones and the system of sea currents, including the Gulf Stream, is the main warming source for the Arctic, the expert said. Warmth is delivered to polar latitudes from middle and tropical latitudes. Periods of abrupt falls in temperatures is one of consequences of such process.

"Two-three week periods with extremely low temperatures in middle latitudes are nothing but outbreaks of cold from the Artic, called the meridional transfer," Danilov said. Incoming warm air substitutes the cold air and it is driven away from the Arctic zone.

Arctic sea volumes declined to a record low figure in January 2017 because of global warming, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said earlier on Friday. Arctic sea ice extent averaged 13.38 million square kilometers in January 2017, nearly 260,000 square kilometers smaller than last January, the WMO said.

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