The total area of ice in Arctic seas has decreased over 10 years by 40%, said lead researcher Antarctic research Institute (AARI) Valery Karklin.
The average for the summer months – July, August, September period 2005-2015 total area of ice in Arctic seas such as the Kara, Laptev, East Siberian and Chukchi decreased by 40% or 547 thousand sq km, said Carlin, adding that data for 2016 are still to be determined.
According to him, the ice conditions in the Arctic seas during these years was formed against the background of ongoing climatic warming. During the 10-year period in all regions of the Arctic seas, through which the Northern sea route during the summer period, there was light ice conditions. They were characterized by an early onset of ice melting and intense cleansing of the seas from ice and reduced ice thickness, explained Carlin.
Scientist, referring to the data of polar stations, said that during the winter period 2005-2015 observed a reduction in the thickness of landfast (immobile) ice on the order of 10-40 cm, the average areas of the Arctic seas she made 20 cm or 15% of the average.
In summer, the thickness of drifting ice in the Arctic sea due to melting is reduced by 120-140 cm in the long-term average values of 80-100 cm, the ice is thinner on average 40 cm Light ice conditions in the Arctic seas contribute to the duration of navigational period, the increase period basedomain navigation (does not require icebreakers for pilotage of the vessels through heavy ice), reduction in cases of emergencies, said Carlin.
According to him, the light ice conditions also are favorable for geological exploration works on the Arctic shelf and for operation of facilities for the production of hydrocarbon raw materials and their export. Indicator of climate change in the Arctic is the area of ice in the Arctic ocean (SLO) at the end of the summer ice melt in September. The average for the period 2007-2015, the area of ice in the Arctic ocean decreased by 25% and amounts to 4.6 million square km with an average value of 6.3 million sq. km. the thickness of the one-year and old ice in the Arctic basin in summer has decreased by 30-40 cm, – said the scientist.