Arctic Ocean: Summary of 2012 Seems Rather Oppressive


Ice cap of the Northern Pole tends to shrink every year during summer season, but in 2012 ice-free territory of the Arctic Ocean was 18% larger than ever! Such records are set every summer over the last six years, climatologists say. Average square territory of ice cover has reduced by 13% since the beginning of regular observations. Scientists are pretty much sure: global warning – either manmade or of natural origin – is the major cause.

Square territory of ice cover in the Arctic has reduced dramatically over 2012

Reduction of Arctic ice cover leads to amplification effect: all the heat accumulated in the ocean during summer thrusts back to the atmosphere, which leads to further melting of ice caps. On the other hand, Antarctic ice cover tends to grow recently. These circumstances lead to irreversible climat changes that are dangerous not only for polar bears and penguins.

Quite a paradox – but global warning means that average temperatures at temperate latitudes will decrease significantly if global warning continues. Because of ice caps melting cold fresh water of the Arctic flows to the Atlantic, reducing the effect of Gulf Stream, the main Pan-European heater. Rather soon we won't be surprised by zero degrees Fahrenheit in London or Paris by December.

There is another consequence of Arctic ice reduction, that could be even more disastrous for the global environment. Melting polar caps release methane that has been trapped in ice for millions of years. Methane is the main greenhouse gas – even worse then carbon dioxide, and its release to the atmosphere might accelerate the global warming processes.

Warming is a potential danger for mostly all marine biosphere, leading to acidification of ocean waters. The more carbon dioxide is dissolved in water, the less there is oxygen, which is essential for fish, crustaceans, seaweed and germs. Similar processes have already struck the Oceans about 50 million years ago. The only difference is that it happened a lot slower, and the wildlife had enough time to adjust and evolve.

Sad but true: all we have left to save the Oceans is reduce greenhouse gas emission to the atmoshere – either on international, governmentalor household level.