The North Pole is melting at an alarming rate that could drastically change the weather dynamics around the globe, see animals like the polar bear go extinct, and threaten small villages and the people that call the area home.
The Arctic is no longer the "White Arctic" that we once knew. Now known as the "Blue Arctic" and "Lake North Pole," we are seeing a drastic change of melting sea ice that will affect all of us.
With sea ice melting more rapidly than expected, the Earth will experience warmer months, droughts and wildfires. The Arctic wildlife is dependent on ice to survive, but sadly, it's all melting and by 2030 scientists believe people can even easily kayak through the North Pole.
Check out these 20 sad photos that show the drastic changes that are happening at the North Pole right now and how it is affecting our planet greatly.
20 The "Blue Arctic"
The North Pole is melting and it is melting fast. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's annual Arctic Report Card, the oldest and thickest ice in the Arctic has declined by 95 percent over the last three decades. This old ice "holds the Arctic together" and if it keeps thinning, scientists believe the planet will warm even more.
19 People Are Paying Little To No Attention To It
The Arctic has been heating up faster than scientists expected. People around the world need to start recognizing the serious impacts that a melting North Pole will have and how it'll immensely change weather dynamics around the globe. This means, hotter summers, more droughts and wildfires, and even more extreme rain, reports Rolling Stone.
18 Polar Bears Depend On Sea Ice For Survival
Polar Bears are starving thanks to global warming. Polar bears and other animals living at the North Pole and surrounding areas are dependent on sea ice for traveling, hunting, mating, and resting, reports World Wildlife. Loss of ice means a possibility of extinction for these animals.
17 Icebergs Threatening Small Villages
We must not only be constantly aware of the dangers of a melting arctic for the animals that call it home but also acknowledge the dangers icebergs can have on small towns and the people living in them. Icebergs are threatening small villages like the one above, where an 11-million-ton mountain of ice has parked itself very close to a small fishing community, reported CNN.
16 Rapidly Disappearing Sea Ice
What is most alarming is the Arctic's most stable sea ice vanishing at a fast rate. This "old ice" known as the "Last Ice Area," extends more than 1,200 miles from Greenland's northern coast to the western part of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, reports Live Science. Sadly, this ice isn't as strong as once believed and is disappearing about twice as rapidly as the Arctic's younger, thinner ice.
15 North Pole Hits High Temperatures
Climate change is warming things up in the North Pole. According to Live Science, in June, the average temperature in the Arctic was warmer than the usual average by nearly 10 degrees. This past summer, weather stations recorded alarming temperatures as high as 94.6 degrees Fahrenheit in the Arctic Circle.
14 Scientists Believe People Can Kayak To The North Pole By 2030
In years to come, the North Pole will be nothing but an open ocean. According to some researchers, with no more ice, people will be able to kayak to the North Pole as early as 2030. According to an article by Rolling Stone, the first container ship will sail through a new shipping route cleared by the melting, shortening travel times from Asia to Europe.
13 A Warming Arctic Can Change The Weather Dynamics All Over The Globe
According to climate scientist Stefan Rahmstorf, we are seeing five times more monthly heat records than we should. "More heat means drier soil, causing more droughts and wildfires. It also means extreme rain, given that a warmer atmosphere can suck up and then release more moisture," reports Rolling Stone.
12 The North Pole Is Turning Into The North Pool
Air temperatures are on the rise in both the North and South Poles, however, the Arctic is melting at a much more rapid rate than down in the Antarctic. "The period of winter where the water is actually cold enough to freeze is getting shorter, which means ice floes are getting smaller," reports DW.com.
11 As The Arctic Heats Up, Sea Levels Will Rise
The Arctic helps to regulate the world's temperature, so as it continues to keep getting warmer, so will the rest of the world. According to Green Peace, melting ice is expected to speed up sea level rise. Experts estimate that the oceans will rise as much as 23 feet by 2100, which would result in flooding for coastal cities.
10 The North Pole Is Melting Faster Than Initially Estimated
It's simple: global warming is the cause of ice melting in the Arctic. When the Arctic ice melts, the oceans around it absorb more sunlight and heat up, making the world warmer, explains Green Peace. Researchers predict the Arctic could be ice-free in the summers of 2030.
9 The Arctic Could Become Ice-Free For First Time In More Than 100,000 Years
This sad statement is very true with reports claiming that the arctic is on track to become ice-free for the first time in more than 100,000 years. Satellite data showed that there were just over 11.1 million square kilometers of sea ice in June this year, compared to the average of about 12.7 million square kilometers for the last 30 years.
8 Melting Ice Could Push Animals Towards Extinction
According to Green Facts, animals living in the Arctic, like the polar bears, need the sea ice to give birth, hunt, and travel from one place to another. Certain seal species are also dependent on sea ice as a place for resting and raising their pups. A walrus will need the ice's edge as diving platforms to feed on clams on the seafloor. Melting ice will have negative effects on all these animals.
7 All Arctic Animals Are Suffering
The Arctic's animals are suffering from the major loss of sea ice. Some of these Arctic wildlife animals include polar bears, walruses, reindeer, seals, the narwhal, the arctic fox, killer whales, beluga whales, and different species of birds. We are seeing a major shift in the number of existing Arctic animals with the melting of the North Pole.
6 Snow Dogs Haul Sled Through Rapidly Melting Ice
This photo of snow dogs hauling a sled through melting ice is extremely alarming. Taken in Greenland, the rapid melting ice indicates a major climate crisis in the nation. These dogs should be trekking through thick layers of snow and not trudging through melted water on top of an approximately 4-foot thick sea ice sheet, reported People.
5 Global Warming Negatively Affecting Glaciers
"Scientists are discovering that production of electricity using coal and petroleum, and other uses of fossil fuels in transportation and industry, affects our environment," reports the National Snow and Ice Data Center. The effects of burning fossil fuel and forests are causing glaciers to retreat and thin.
4 Is the North Pole Turning Into A Lake?
The North Pole is slowly becoming a lake thanks to the melted ice. According to The Atlantic, a lake started forming on July 13, 2019, during a month of warmer than average temperatures in the Arctic Ocean. The lake has grown to stretch a significant distance, which is especially alarming.
3 The North Pole Is Undergoing Rapid Changes
The melting of the Arctic is related to the increase of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide, reports Active Sustainability, adding a scary fact that, "each tonne of CO2 emitted to the atmosphere causes the disappearance of three square meters of ice in the Arctic during the warmest months."
2 Snow And Ice Play A Vital Role In Moderating Earth's Climate
According to CBC News, snow and ice are vitally important in moderating Earth's climate. "The white surfaces reflect the sun's radiation, which in turn helps maintain a comfortable temperature for life on the planet." This year, in particular, was a bad year for the Arctic where it saw sea ice minimum at its second-lowest in satellite records at 4.16 million square kilometers.
1 What We Can Do To Help
There are ways we can help save the Arctic as our Earth continues to get warmer. Funding research is one way to predict what our Arctic will look like in years to come. We need to develop technology to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. Lastly, talking about the dire consequences of a melting North Pole will help spread change.
Sources: cnn.com, worldwildlife.org, rollingstone.com, thewashingtonpost.com, arctic.noaa.gov, livescience.com, dw.com, greenpeace.org, independent.co.uk, greenfacts.org, people.com, nsidc.org, theatlantic.com, activesustainability.com, cbc.ca