Footage shot across the North Atlantic captured a stunning view of accumulating sea ice over Brighton, Newfoundland, but, according to researchers, also serves as stark reminder of the impact of climate change.
The close-up drone video was taken by climate hobbyist Andre Beyzaei on March 27, 2018.
“Usually you see a bit of sea-ice along the coasts and if you happen to fly the drone far enough, you may capture some icebergs much further away,” Beyzaei told Global News.
“That does not seem to be the case around this time of year. I would assume that it would take much longer time for the sea-ice to melt and subsequently we would witness massive icebergs coming along later in June and July.”
According to research published in the March issue of the peer-reviewed U.S. journal Geophysical Research Letters, more Arctic sea ice is entering the North Atlantic Ocean than before.
The new study suggests “warming temperatures due to climate change are melting more Arctic ice, increasing ice mobility and opening channels that are normally frozen shut.”
In other words, sea ice that would typically remain trapped in the Arctic is breaking off and moving towards the coastlines.
A team of scientists studied the ice cover conditions along Canada’s east coast from May to June in 2017 and found it presented treacherous conditions for ships to navigate those waters.
At a time of year when many travel through coastal waters unimpeded, a number of unsuspecting ships, fishing vessels and ferry boats became trapped in the ice.
The study’s authors predict last year’s events could occur more often in the future as Arctic temperatures continue to rise.
“It’s counterintuitive to most people, because it means you can have an increase in local ice hazards because of a changing climate in the high Arctic,” said David Barber, lead author and University of Manitoba climate change scientist.
“This is something we need to better prepare for in the future, because we expect this phenomenon to go on for at least a couple more decades as we transition to an ice-free Arctic in the summer.”
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