Climate Scientists in London Say Arctic Ice May Be Melting Twice as Quickly as Once Thought

Researchers even say some parts of the Arctic could be free of ice within 20 years. 

The polar ice caps are melting. And, according to a new study, they may be melting twice as quickly as previously thought. Researchers from University College London even say some parts of the Arctic could be without ice within 20 years. 

“We found that sea ice thickness was both more variable from year to year, and it's also declining in the coastal areas of the Arctic much more quickly than we thought," said Robbie Mallett, a Ph.D. student at the University College London.

“The sea ice in the Arctic is going to continue to thin this century, and it's going to continue to recede towards the center of the Arctic, where it's really cold," he added. "And it's going to expose lots of these areas, they're going to become open water in summer, and all of the sunlight that comes from the sky is just going to get absorbed, and it's going to contribute to a lot of warming, basically. It's going to get hot."

Usually, the Arctic absorbs heat and helps regulate weather around the world. But Glaciologist Dr. Alan Hubbard said that if it stops absorbing heat, that’s when there will be trouble.

“That means that all of our weather systems are going to change. We have more extreme weather. We have like milder, but winters with more extreme snowfall," he said.

And changes in the Arctic ice will be felt miles and miles away. That’s why thousands of miles away in Spain, protestors from the group Extinction Rebellion recently stopped traffic to demand action against climate change.

They staged a mock funeral on the streets of Madrid. And even laid down in chalk circles, suggestive of a crime scene. Afterward, they were removed by police. 

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