By Cathy Shan (’23)
On September 18, 2019, NASA’s satellite data displayed the Arctic Sea Ice at its second-lowest size. The Sea Ice was measured to be 1.60 million square miles (4.15 million square kilometers), which continues the trend of the decreasing ice size. Since 1981, the Sea Ice has been declining rapidly at a rate of 12.8 percent every decade. Scientists and researchers believe that this decline is due to global warming and climate change.
Not only does this change impact the Arctic environment, it also has a global impact. As the Sea Ice keeps melting, the Arctic Ocean will absorb more solar radiation. The air above the Arctic Ocean will get warmer, which will lead to an increase in the decline of Sea Ice in the coming years. Additionally, the increasingly warm climate in the Arctic is causing global issues. As the Sea Ice melts, it releases methane hydrates. These hydrates will turn into methane gas, which can trap 23 times more heat than carbon dioxide can. Glaciers push icebergs into the ocean, causing the ocean levels to rise. Eventually, this will cause low-lying cities to be flooded.
Now, scientists are trying to look for ways to prevent this catastrophe from occurring. As they discover new technology and resources, scientists can develop new technology to stop global warming from getting worse.