New Arctic ice typically forms off Russia's coast in the Laptev Sea.
Credit: Mikhail Varentsov / Shutterstock
Havis born in the low seas off Russia make it rarely out of its innovation in swimming.
New research notes that two decades ago, half of the sea ice formed near the Arctic coast in Russia, a wind-blown trip through the Arctic Sea and out through the Framstrøden between Greenland and Svalbard went before melting. Today, only about 20 percent of the ice born near Russia is traveling.
That's a big problem, said study leader Thomas Krumpen, an oceanis physicist at Alfred Wegener Institut Helmholtz Center for Polar and Marine Research in Germany. Sea ice formed in shallow waters traps many small particles, ranging from sediments to algae to microplastic contamination to iron and other nutrients. When the ice melts in place instead of traveling, it affects the distribution of these substances.
"How does this change in transport affect the biogeochemical cycle in the Arctic as well as the ecosystem?" Krumpen said. "It's all badly understood." [1
Ocean Ice Tracking is a challenge because the arctic is typically covered by clouds, shielded from the curious eyes of the remaining satellites. The crawl and his colleagues developed a method to solve the problem by using satellites with microwave-based imaging that enabled them to look through the clouds. They can track where ice is formed from features such as its texture and brightness.
Havis formed in less than 100 feet of water in Barents, Kara, Laptev and East Siberian seas are typically blown north by strong offshore winds traveling towards the central Arctic ocean, Krumpen told Live Science. Eventually, it is caught in a stream called Transpolar Drift, which circulates it around and south out of Fram Strait. This conveyor belt of ice has been on the move in recent years, said Krumpen, because the ice is thinner and thinner ice drives faster. Some scientists have speculated that this increase in speed may help to reduce the ice, because the ice cream can travel longer, faster, before melting.
The new research throws cold water on that term. Using data from 1998 to 2017, the researchers found that the melt is too fast to compensate for the increase in ice speed. Every decade, 17 percent less ice comes from shallow Russian waters to Fram Strait, Krumpen and his colleagues reported today (April 2) in the journal Scientific Reports.
Trapped in the operation
By means of flight ice surveys, the team also found out that the ice coming to the Prostrate today mainly originates from the open sea in the central Arctic sea, rather than in Russia, where the continental shelf extends. It is 30 percent thinner than the ice in the Framstrøte at the beginning of the 2000s.
"It is the connection to the lost shelf," said Krumpen.
With this connection cut off sediments, nutrients, algae and other near shore materials can remain near the shore instead of reaching the open sea. The researchers are now striving to understand how this disruption of the transport of nutrients affects the Arctic ecosystem. An upcoming delightful effort will help: In September, international scientists will launch an expedition to deliberately freeze an icebreaker in the ice in Transpolar Drift. Researchers on the mission, called MOSAiC, will take biological and chemical samples for a whole year, says Krumpen.
"We need to better understand the life cycles of these biogeochemical components," he said.
Originally published on Live Science .