Arctic ice melt reaches record low for May

Arctic ice melt reaches record low for May

View of the Arctic sea ice in the Beaufort sea from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Cover credit: NSIDC, NASA (GSFC)

View of the Arctic sea ice in the Beaufort sea from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Cover credit: NSIDC, NASA (GSFC)

The average Arctic sea ice extent during the month of May has decreased by more than half a million square kilometers since 2012, new data has shown.

The Arctic sea is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, and its ice is disappearing faster than that of the rest of the northern hemisphere, as a result of continuously rising global temperatures.

This phenomenon is called the Arctic amplification.

Melting in Greenland was also recently proved to be associated with the effects of the Arctic phenomenon. Record-high temperatures -and consequently melting records- have affected northwest Greenland too last summer.

What's even worse is the fact that the phenomenon is allowing the newly-formed and dark Arctic water to absorb more solar radiation, and consequently become even warmer.

The factors known to have caused the Arctic phenomenon are heat and gravity. The first increases the ice's temperature and melts its surface through sunlight and warm air while the second causes the glaciers to slide to the sea. But a new study about Greenland's ice sheet brings forward a new factor, wind, which is accelerating the occurrence.

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