January 28, 2023

The expedition returned to Germany in October after 389 days drifting via Arctic. (Representational)

Berlin, German:

The tipping level for irreversible international warming might have already been triggered, the scientist who led the biggest-ever expedition to the Arctic warned on Tuesday.

“The disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic is one of the first landmines in this minefield, one of the tipping points that we set off first when we push warming too far,” stated Markus Rex.

“And one can essentially ask if we haven’t already stepped on this mine and already set off the beginning of the explosion.”

Rex led the world’s greatest mission to the North Pole, an expedition involving 300 scientists from 20 nations.

The expedition returned to Germany in October after 389 days drifting via the Arctic, bringing dwelling devastating proof of a dying Arctic Ocean and warnings of ice-free summers in simply a long time.

The 140-million-euro ($165-million) expedition additionally introduced again 150 terabytes of knowledge and greater than 1,000 ice samples.

Summarising their first findings, Rex stated scientists discovered that the Arctic sea ice had retreated “faster in the spring of 2020 than since the beginning of records” and that “the spread of the sea ice in the summer was only half as large as decades ago”.

The ice was solely half as thick and temperatures measured 10 levels greater than in the course of the Fram expedition undertaken by explorers and scientists Fridtjof Nansen and Hjalmar Johansen within the Nineties. 

Because of the smaller sea ice floor, the ocean was capable of take up extra warmth in the summertime, in flip which means that ice sheet formation within the autumn was slower than regular.


“Only evaluation in the coming years will allow us to determine if we can still save the year-round Arctic sea ice through forceful climate protection or whether we have already passed this important tipping point in the climate system,” Rex added, urging speedy motion to halt warming.

World leaders had agreed underneath the Paris settlement in 2015 to take motion to restrict international warming to effectively beneath 2 levels Celsius, ideally to 1.5 levels Celsius, in contrast with pre-industrial ranges.

Stefanie Arndt, who specialises in sea ice physics, stated it was “painful to know that we are possibly the last generation who can experience an Arctic which still has a sea ice cover in the summer”.

“This sea ice cover is gradually shrinking and it is an important living space for polar bears,” stated Arndt, whereas recounting observations of seals and different animals within the polar habitat.

The information collected in the course of the expedition included readings on the environment, ocean, sea ice and ecosystems.

Several hundred scientific publications analysing the findings are anticipated to be printed between 2021 and 2023.

During the expedition, scientists had arrange 4 observational websites on the ocean ice in a radius of as much as 40 kilometres (25 miles) across the mission’s “Polarstern” (North Star) ship.

Among information collected had been water samples from beneath the ice to review plant plankton and micro organism and higher perceive how the marine ecosystem features underneath excessive circumstances.

More than 100 parameters had been measured virtually constantly all year long. 

The abundance of knowledge will feed into the event of fashions to assist predict what heatwaves, heavy rains or storms may appear like in 20, 50 or 100 years.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV employees and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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