Rapid melting sea-ice in the Arctic may hamper India’s monsoon pattern: Study


  • Sea ice in the Arctic is melting faster than ever because of rising temperature and it may adversely affect the Indian monsoon rain pattern.
  • It has become difficult for new sea ice to make trans-arctic journey as only 20% of the ice could actually reach the Central Arctic.
  • The ice is 30% less thick than it was 15 years ago.
The polar Arctic Zone — which has been melting from the past two centuries — has started melting dramatically because of rising temperatures that could adversely impact the India’s rain pattern and the seasonal monsoon, said a team of researchers ahead of a major expedition to explore the Arctic.

The sea ice has been melting faster than ever and that could have a severe implication on major ocean currents linked to extreme weather events, said the researchers.

In simple words, ocean currents helps to transport sea ice from one destination to another. Given the current situation, Transpolar Drift — a major ocean current that transports sea ice from the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea towards Fram Strait — will suffer, leading to major consequences across the world including India. It is also one of the dominant factors in determining weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, said the report.

It has become increasingly difficult for new sea ice to make trans-arctic journey. Till 1990s, half the sea ice formed in the Arctic sea next to Russia was able to successfully travel without melting. However now, only 20% of the ice is able to reach the Central Arctic. In fact, 80% of the newly-formed sea ice melts as it is not thick as before.

The thickness of the ice is 30% less than it was 15 years ago. This could result in emission of sea ice during summer in the Arctic, said the report.

Separately, another study supports these findings. A recent study by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research revealed a direct relationship between global warming and the monsoons.

“We noticed that there has been an increase in glacial melting driven by warming over the past two centuries. The Arctic witnessed a persistently increasing warming during the studied period with a particularly accelerated tone post-1970s,” reported Hindustan Times citing study.

See also:
North India is as cold as Southern Europe now because of Arctic winds
A polar vortex is engulfing the US. Here's what that really means, and why these events might be getting more common.
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