NASA scientists have discovered that an Arctic ice chunk the size of Florida has disappeared, and a footage of it is going viral on the Internet.
NASA said the chunk of ice that melted was located in Kara and Barents seas region. It melted in just a matter of 10 days, as a result of the cyclone-powered humid air that brought temperatures 10 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit) higher than normal. The area's sea ice thinned by almost 4 inches (10 centimeters) on average.
The cyclone formed on Dec. 28, 2015 and reached the Arctic in Dec. 30, remaining in the area for several days.
"During the cyclone, the sea ice retreated northward, causing a loss in coverage equaling the area of the state of Florida," said Linette Boisvert, lead author of the study and a sea ice scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
As reported by RT.com, the melting was detected by NASA's climate monitor, the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS).
Live Science said that the storm occurred at time when the ice in the region are supposed to have increased thickness and strength of the ice.
Aside from measuring the atmospheric effect of the cyclone, the researchers who wrote the study also compared the incidence to other extreme events from past winters since 2003.
"Measured against other extreme winter events that have happened in the Kara-Barents seas region over the AIRS period, this one was the warmest," Boisvert said. "The AIRS time period also coincides with the warmest decade on record, so this storm being the hottest is a big deal.
The melting in the Kara-Barents seas region has weakened the Arctic's sea ice cover. Projections show that ice thickness will continue to recede over the next decades, making the sea ice cover even more at risk of winter storms.
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