The sea off the north coast of Greenland is usually so frozen that is is considered as the ‘last ice area’. An area that would not be affected by global warming. However, this ice has started to break up; this happened twice this year, while it has never happened before.
Some meteorologists called this phenomenon scary, while many are reconsidering their ideas regarding which areas of the Arctic will withstand global warming.
Normally, ice off the north of Greenland is usually particularly compact, while some weather patterns are pushing ice from Siberia across the Arctic to the coastline, where it gathers. Nevertheless, now due to wind and abnormal temperatures, the ice has been pushed away from the coast.
The break up of the ice was caused mainly by winds, which took place during two temperature spikes. The first one occurred in February, in the Kap Morris Jesup weather station which is usually below -20C. Nonetheless, winds have broken the ice from the coast.
The second happened in August, when the crack opened again after Kap Morris Jesup briefly registered a record high of 17C and strong winds up to 11 knots.
In addition, according to the Norwegian Ice Service, Arctic ice cover in the Svalbard area was 40% below the average during August, while there are predictions that there will be no summer ice in the Arctic Ocean at some point between 2030 and 2050.
Abnormally high temperatures have rattled climate scientists since the beginning of the year, as during the winter a heatwave raised concerns that the polar vortex may be eroding.