No Arctic sea ice in Siberia

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At this time of year, huge ice masses usually form off the coast of Siberia. The sea ice that forms here drifts over the pole in the course of the year and melts again in the warmer season between Svalbard and Greenland. Currently, however, the Siberian coast is almost ice-free. This trend has been observed for several years, but this year has set a negative record in this respect.

The extent of the arctic sea ice since 1979

As shown on the graph, the amount of sea ice in the Arctic has been on a decline for years. The cause lies among others in the higher air temperatures. These are about 10 degrees above the current average value. In addition, the dwindling or later appearing ice masses lead to a weakened albedo. The albedo indicates the amount of reflected sunlight. White ice sheets reflect significantly more sunlight than the dark sea, which absorbs a large part of the sun’s energy, which in turn results in additional warming. This feedback loop is particularly noticeable in the Arctic, where the warming is already much stronger than in the rest of the world.

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