One of the last hopes for the survival of the Polar Bear appears to be fast disappearing as the ‘Last Ice Area’ located north of Greenland and Canada is also melting. Scientists had expected this area to withstand the ravages of global warming.
The ‘Last Ice Area’ is located off Greenland in the extreme north of the Arctic. The melting is taking place this year much earlier than expected. The scientific and environmental community had pinned their hopes on this region to save the polar bear. They had believed that these areas were resilient enough to endure the ravages of weather change.
But a recent study published in the journal Communications Earth and Environment says that the ‘Last Ice Area’ has witnessed record lows of sea ice concentration during August in 2020, as reported in IE. Scientists have written that they believe that global warming was behind this change.
‘Last Ice Area’ Could Also Disappear By 2040
There has been a dire prediction that the complete Arctic Ice could disappear by 2040, though the ‘Last Ice Area’ region was assumed to be strong enough to withstand the ravages of global warming. But it appears that the damage done is far greater than anticipated earlier.
The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) has reported that climate change was responsible for the shrinking of the Arctic ice in summer. It was a matter of concern both for the indigenous Inuit population and the local wildlife. The last areas that appeared immune to climate change also seem to have succumbed far earlier than expected.
The region is known as the ‘Last Ice Area’ was the last hope for scientists as they were concerned for the species that were dependent on ice for their survival. Both seals and polar bears depend on the thick Arctic ice for procreation and hunting. Another species dependent on the thick ice cover are Walruses.
The study initiated by the University of Washington reported that the first signs of thinning were observed in 2018 and the decline has accelerated further. Satellite images of “last Ice Area’ revealed that the ice cover was as low as 50%, and reported that 20% of it was caused by global warming. They attributed 80% of the melting to natural causes. But they expect the process to accelerate as the exposed sea absorbs more heat leading to further rise in temperatures, and the vicious cycle continues.