The situation is getting worse and the melting of the ice caps could have reached a point of no return, over the next few years we could have irreversible consequences. A study published by NASA who monitored the situation via satellite: the involution from 1984 to now has been emblematic.
Melting ice: 2030 could be the crucial year
The latest satellite data show the situation getting worse. There is a reduction of surface area of 5% compared to the historic minimum recorded in 2014: currently, the overall extension of the ice is approximately 11.1 square km. This means that in a decade an area five time the size of Italy has melted.
The forecast is dark and the melting of the ice caps could become complete in 2030. This is also due to a change in the icy surface which is becoming darker, therefore less reflective, thereby more easily absorbing solar radiation.
NASA’s study shows a net reduction of old ice, which is the most resistant layer of the polar caps which has reduced from 20% al 3%.
“The old ice was the polar ice cap’s insurance policy. The more we lose, the more worrisome the situation becomes”, these are the words of Walt Meier, on of the scientists working on the project.
In sum, the melting of the ice caps is increasingly faster, and, to use a metaphor, the foundation is being eaten away.
Luminosity temperature to monitor the melting of the ice
The recent studies work with systems which measure the energy emitted by marine ice, a parameter which keeps into account multiple factors, including surface temperature, its density, salinity, and the thickness of the snow layer covering the cap.
They measure the luminosity temperature. The researchers, through a satellite system, follow the movements of the Arctic masses, trying to document in the most faithful manner possible the way they are melting, and are then able to forecast closer to reality.
“We follow the ice while it moves, until it melts or leaves the Arctic. Each year, it gets thinner and thinner and by 2030 we may see a complete melting of the Arctic polar ice cap“, warns Meier.
The ice has not only gotten thinner, but has become younger, this means that it is easier for it to melt. The satellite images speak for themselves, like the video showing the evolution of the polar ice caps from 1984 to the present. Emblematic images.