Global warming has been bantered about for years. Is it happening? Is it a myth? The pros and cons have been heard around the world and often attempt to cancel each other out. However, the North Pole Environmental Observatory has released photos of what was once the frozen North Pole–only it’s now a lake.
The North Pole Environmental Observatory has been around since the year 2000. It is funded by grants from the National Science Foundation and its purpose is to monitor the Arctic sea ice. The lake began forming on July 13 after a month of temperatures rising one to three degrees Celsius above normal. Ice still separates the lake from the Arctic Ocean, but as that frozen layer keeps melting, the lake will deepen.
Scientists have been monitoring the melting ice during recent years. It freezes over after the summer months, but melts again the next year. The melting has opened up the Northwest Passage for shipping as well as oil and gas exploration. Unfortunately for the polar bears and other animals that depend on sea ice, their natural environment is shrinking.
The ice cap in its frozen state helps insulate the air, ocean currents, and reflects sunlight. When the ice melts, it creates problems of accelerated global warming, rising ocean levels, and loss of natural habitat for Arctic animals.
Written by: Cynthia Collins