The strongest ice in the Arctic Ocean just cracked for the first time ever after abnormally warm weather hit the Northern Hemisphere.
The breakage is reportedly opening waters north of Greenland, which usually remain frozen year-round. It’s something that’s never been recorded before but warm winds and a climate change-driven heat wave have caused it to happen twice this year.
The area of the Arctic, located off the north coast of Greenland, is commonly called “that last ice area,” since scientists believed it would be the last northern area to give in to an increasingly warm climate. Now winds have pushed the ice the furthest from the coast since satellite records began in the 1970s.
“The ice there has nowhere else to go so it piles up. On average, it’s over four meters thick and can be piled up into ridges 20 meters thick or more,” explained Walt Meier of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in an interview with The Guardian. “This thick, compacted ice is generally not easily moved around.”
According to the Cape Morris Jesup station, there have been 10 days where the temperature was above freezing this year in an area where the temperatures are usually subzero.