Additionally, the decline in Arctic seabird populations over the past few decades is due to ice melting.
September 30, 2021.- According to the US National Ice and Snow Data Center, Arctic sea ice shrank to 4 million square kilometers on September 16.
This means that it is the twelfth lowest extent of sea ice, and scientists explain that the long-term trend is for the ice sheet to thin out even more.
In addition, the minimum extent of Arctic sea ice is decreasing at a rate of 13.1 percent per decade.
“Even with global warming and the general downward trend in sea ice, there is still natural variability,” says researcher Walt Meier.
The lowest recorded minimum extent was set in 2012 after a very strong storm accelerated the loss of thin ice that was already on the verge of melting.
“The all-year average is steadily decreasing while the average global temperature is increasing,” says scientist Steven Amstrup.
He also explained that although there may be greater extensions of sea ice in a given year, the frequency of years with ‘bad levels’ with a minimum extension of ice is increasing.
Seabird population decreases
The decline in Arctic seabird populations in recent decades is due to melting ice, according to a study by the Institute of Marine Sciences (ICM-CSIC) and the Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI), the first to provide empirical evidence on how Arctic species are responding to retreating sea ice.
According to the study, the loss of sea ice is threatening the future of Arctic seabird populations because most prey on fish and crustaceans found on the edges of the sea ice.
The work has evaluated the relationship between the retreat of sea ice in recent decades and the simultaneous decline in populations of Arctic seabirds and provides some of the scant empirical evidence linking changes in the cryosphere – the part of the Earth system where the water is in solid form – with the population dynamics of the large predators of the Arctic.
“The Arctic is warming faster than any other region on Earth, leading to a very rapid and steep reduction in the extent, thickness and seasonal duration of sea ice, which is expected to have significant effects on wildlife in the Arctic ”, the researchers warned
New analyzes done now not only reveal similar long-term trends in the dynamics of birds and sea ice, but also reveal that the concentration of sea ice is associated with the size of the colonies of these birds with a lag of two years.
According to the researchers, the impact of ocean warming and the melting sea on Arctic organisms may differ between species and geographic areas.
Source: El Financiero
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