Arctic Ocean could have no September sea ice if global average temperatures increase by 2 degrees

Arctic could be iceless in September if temps increase 2 degrees
Polar bears sleep on the beach in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in early September waiting for ice to form on the Arctic Ocean. Credit: Michael Miller

Arctic sea ice could disappear completely through September each summer if average global temperatures increase by as little as 2 degrees, according to a new study by the University of Cincinnati.

The study by an international team of researchers was published in Nature Communications.

"The target is the sensitivity of sea ice to temperature," said Won Chang, a study co-author and UC assistant professor of mathematics.

"What is the minimum global temperature change that eliminates all in September? What's the tipping point?"

The study predicted that the Arctic Ocean could be completely ice-free in September with as little as 2 degrees Celsius of . Limiting warming to 2 degrees is the stated goal of the 2009 Paris Agreement, the international effort to curb carbon emissions to address warming. The Trump Administration withdrew the United States as a participant in 2017.

"Most likely, September Arctic sea ice will effectively disappear between approximately 2 and 2.5 degrees of global warming," the study said. "Yet limiting the warming to 2 degrees (as proposed under the Paris agreement) may not be sufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic Ocean."

Historically, September is the month that sees the Arctic Ocean's least ice cover during the year after the short polar summer.

"They use September as a measure because that's the transition period between summer and winter in the Arctic," Chang said. "Ice recedes from June to September and then in September it begins to grow again in a seasonal cycle. And we're saying we could have no ice in September."

The less summer sea ice the Arctic has, the longer it takes for the Arctic Ocean to ice back over for the polar winter. That could spell bad news for Arctic wildlife such as seals and polar bears that rely on sea ice to raise pups and hunt them, respectively.

The researchers applied the new statistical method to climate model projections of the 21st century. Using the climate models, the authors found at least a 6% probability that summer sea ice in the Arctic Ocean will disappear with warming of 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels. At 2 degrees, the likelihood increases to 28%. 

"Our work provides a new statistical and mathematical framework to calculate climate change and impact probabilities," said Jason Evans, a professor who works at the University of New South Wales and its Climate Change Research Centre.

"While we only tested the new approach on , we are eager to see if the technique can be applied to other fields, such as stock market predictions, plane accident investigations, or in medical research," says Roman Olson, the lead author and researcher at the Institute for Basic Science in South Korea. 

Chang said he has not gotten much feedback on this study yet. But sometimes climate change skeptics will approach him at his public presentations.

"Climate scientists are very honest," he said. "We try to be as transparent as possible about the amount of uncertainty we have and lay out all of our assumptions and emphasize that when we say there is a possibility, we quantify it in the form of a probability."

He thinks public perceptions about change might depend on where you live.

"Most South Koreans don't question , not because they're more scientific but because they can see the effects firsthand," Chang said.

"My hometown is a southern city called Daegu. It's about the size of Cincinnati. And it was famous for growing a delicious apple. But now they can't grow the apples there. The orchards are gone. It's just too hot. Now they grow them farther north."


Explore further

Paris Agreement does not rule out ice-free Arctic

More information: R. Olson et al, A novel method to test non-exclusive hypotheses applied to Arctic ice projections from dependent models, Nature Communications (2019). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10561-x
Journal information: Nature Communications

Citation: Arctic Ocean could have no September sea ice if global average temperatures increase by 2 degrees (2019, August 13) retrieved 15 October 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-08-arctic-ocean-september-sea-ice.html
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Aug 13, 2019
well that's about how much warmer (+2 C) it was during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Which lasted 4000 years.

Aug 13, 2019
well that's about how much warmer (+2 C) it was during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Which lasted 4000 years.

This study refers to a +2°C for the average temperature of the entire planet. The "Holocene Thermal Maximum" is not a global average temperature increase, it is an anomalous spike in temperatures in various regions. The global average temperature during this event was essentially identical to the current average.

Aug 13, 2019
could be '' '' if '' , yup could be lots'a stuff , no meat or fuel for you peasants though

Aug 13, 2019
You can talk about climate change and globull warming all you want, but if you can PROVE that manmade CO2 is CAUSING temperature change, you got nuttin'.

Aug 13, 2019
We are heading towards the sixth global mass extinction event. Believe it or not. Humans have not only impacted the atmosphere, but also they have caused biological/ecological destruction of the earth with over a million species extinct already, and current rate of extinction being the highest since the Homo Sapiens took over the earth.

Aug 13, 2019
We are heading towards the sixth global mass extinction event. Believe it or not. Humans have not only impacted the atmosphere, but also they have caused biological/ecological destruction of the earth with over a million species extinct already, and current rate of extinction being the highest since the Homo Sapiens took over the earth.


PROVE IT!

Aug 14, 2019
We are heading towards the sixth global mass extinction event. Believe it or not. Humans have not only impacted the atmosphere, but also they have caused biological/ecological destruction of the earth with over a million species extinct already, and current rate of extinction being the highest since the Homo Sapiens took over the earth.


PROVE IT!

https://www.uv.mx...-6-2.pdf
https://science.s...5222/347
http://static.squ...2014.pdf

Aug 14, 2019
well that's about how much warmer (+2 C) it was during the Holocene Thermal Maximum. Which lasted 4000 years.

This study refers to a +2°C for the average temperature of the entire planet. The "Holocene Thermal Maximum" is not a global average temperature increase, it is an anomalous spike in temperatures in various regions. The global average temperature during this event was essentially identical to the current average.

And this right here proving exactly my point i made here: https://phys.org/...ure.html once yet again out of hundreds about antigoracle's clown shoot the potty miss sockpuppet, what a fruitcake lol...

Aug 14, 2019
You can talk about climate change and globull warming all you want, but if you can PROVE that manmade CO2 is CAUSING temperature change, you got nuttin'.
We have the WORLDS PROOF numb nuts, your skull is just to thick to understand even the BASIC evidence.

Aug 14, 2019
And precisely so ! Like a detective story, first you need a victim, in this case the planet Earth: more energy is remaining in the atmosphere.Next, you need a 'motive'. Why has this happened? Because CO2 has increased by nearly 50% in the last 150 years and the increase is from burning fossil fuels.

The smoking gun, the evidence that proves 'whodunit': energy being trapped in the atmosphere corresponds exactly to the wavelengths of energy captured by CO2.

Aug 14, 2019
We are heading towards the sixth global mass extinction event. Believe it or not. Humans have not only impacted the atmosphere, but also they have caused biological/ecological destruction of the earth with over a million species extinct already, and current rate of extinction being the highest since the Homo Sapiens took over the earth.


PROVE IT!
Just use your eyes and ears in the real world and come back to us.

Aug 14, 2019
@Anonym.
but if you can PROVE that manmade CO2 is CAUSING temperature change, you got nuttin'

Can you PROVE that cigarettes cause cancer? Some people smoke their whole life - and don't get cancer. So stupid people use such a poor understanding of science - and kill themselves with cancer sticks.

In case you didn't know Anonym - the Earth IS warming. The current science says that green house gases are the top contender for the driver of that warming. Why don't you tell us what your alternative hypothesis is. But hey - keep smoking if you are that stupid - but smoking primarily affects YOUR body - climate change affects all of us - and future generations.

Aug 14, 2019
We are heading towards the sixth global mass extinction event. Believe it or not. Humans have not only impacted the atmosphere, but also they have caused biological/ecological destruction of the earth


Things are better than ever before in human history. Loser.

Aug 16, 2019
Things are better than ever before in human history. Loser
Which of course has nothing to do with arctic ice melting - which is the topic of today's article. Old code always wants to change the subject - and introduce emotional political off topic rubbish. The arctic is melting old code. https://www.bloom...n-normal

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