Arctic Ocean Is Warming Just Like The Atlantic Ocean, A New Study Reveals

First Posted: Apr 08, 2017 03:21 AM EDT

The Arctic Ocean is shifting in becoming like the Atlantic, in which warm waters are flowing into the ocean north of Scandinavia and Russia, according to a new study. The scientists dubbed this as the "Atlantification of the Arctic Ocean."

With the warming of waters of the Arctic, the ocean productivity and chemistry are changing. It makes the sea ice dwindle. The behavior of the ocean has gone into the truly massive shift, according to experts.

The findings of the study were printed in Science. The study indicates that warm Atlantic currents have contributed to the massive change of the Arctic Ocean.

In the study, the scientists examined the Eurasian basin, or one or two basins in the Arctic Ocean, which is separated by a crest under the surface. This Eurasian basin is in the north of Europe and Asia. It is theorized that warm Atlantic currents inhibit ice formation on the western side of the Eurasian basin north of Scandinavia. On the other hand, it is also found that the warm currents are also invading the ice on the eastern side north of Siberia, according to Inhabitat.

The Atlantic waters flow into the Arctic at 656 feet to 820 feet below. It has about 4 degrees Celsius temperatures at an increasing level than the surface water. Once this mixed with the surface water, the mixed water becomes warmer. The cold halocline layer (CHL), which is a barrier on the Eurasian's basin eastern side, inhibits much of this mixing. On the other hand, the eastern side is just like the western side now.

Igor Polyakov of the University of Alaska in Fairbanks and the lead author of the study said that in the past, CHL enveloped the Atlantic warm waters. On the other hand, in the new data, it showed that the layer had vanished in winter.

Polyakov further said that the fast changes in the eastern Arctic Ocean could let more heat from the ocean interior stretching to the bottom of the sea ice. This makes it more sensitive to climate changes. The study suggests that about a third of the eastern Arctic Ocean is now becoming like the ice-free Atlantic Ocean, according to Scientific American.

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