The New Arctic – What Less Ice Means for Humans and Animals

Polar Bear

The Arctic has been losing about 10% of its ice annually in the last couple of decades. In 2007, the ice completely disappeared, stunning marine researchers that work there.

Jellyfish and copepods took over the ocean that summer. Jellyfish aren’t a popular food source for many animals. Whales, walruses, and polar bears aren’t interested in them. Other effects included the coastline eroding quite a bit.

When the ice melts, the darker water absorbs the heat, warms the water, and prevents the ice from reforming. This positive feedback loop keeps the cycle going. The ice cover in the Arctic has melted at a surprising rate, faster than most people had predicted.

In this video, marine scientist Ken Dunton talks about the disappearing ice and the effects on humans and animals. The video is about ten minutes long.

Polar bear photo via Shutterstock

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