With that ice cover has been reduced by more than half in the past three decades. At the same time the thickness of the ice layer is declining. Recent studies consistently show that the extreme ice retreat in all its manifestations can only be explained by anthropogenic global warming.
"The Arctic sea ice is an early warning system and is considered to be a critical element in the earth system: when there is less bright ice to reflect sunlight into space and more dark ocean surface area to absorb heat, global warming is accelerated", said Peter Lemke from the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven. The Arctic plays a central role in the global climate system, "and even if it seems to be so far away – the changes in the far North will also make themselves felt in Germany." Climate scientists expect an even greater retreat of sea ice in future, so that in a few decades the Arctic Ocean could be largely free of ice during the summer.
Furter Information in the press release.