& # 39; Archived & # 39; heat caught beneath the surface of the North Pole has the potential to melt the sea ice of the entire region, scientists warn. The study, published in the journal Science Advances, shows that Arctic sea ice is not only threatened by the melting of ice along the edges. Warmer water that arose hundreds of kilometers away has penetrated deep into the polar region, researchers found.
"We document a striking global warming in one of the main catchment areas of the Inland Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin," said Mary-Louise Timmermans, a professor at Yale University in the US. The upper ocean in the Canadian basin has seen a two-fold increase in heat content over the past 30 years, the researchers said. He has traced the source to hundreds of kilometers of water to the south, where reduced sea ice is exposing the ocean to the surface more to the warming of the sun in the summer.
In their turn, Arctic winds drift the warmer water to the north, but below the surface water. "This means that the effects of sea ice loss are not limited to the ice-free areas themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation in the interior of the Arctic Ocean, which can have climate effects well into the summer season," said Timmermans.
"Right now, this heat is trapped under the surface layer. When it is mixed up to the surface, there is enough heat to completely melt the sea ice pack that covers this area most of the year," she said.