WWF-Canada coined the Last Ice Area, a polar region above Nunavut and Greenland where scientists project sea ice will persist the longest in the face of a warming world.
•It’s long been thought the area deemed the “Last Ice Area” — a region of the Arctic spanning the top of Greenland and Canada — would remain safe for ice-dwelling creatures through consistently strong ice even if neighbouring areas became inhospitable.
•But recent research finding a record low of sea-ice concentration in part of the region last summer is suggesting that the Area is more vulnerable to climate change than we previously thought.A part of the Arctic’s ice , located north of Greenland, has melted before expected. Scientists had believed this area was strong enough to withstand global warming.
In a paper published in the journal “Communications Earth & Environment”, researchers note that in August 2020 the area where the LIA is located, experienced a record low concentration of sea ice
•The study, focused on a region of this Area right above Greenland, called the Wandel Sea.
•The Wandel Sea normally is almost entirely covered by ice that has survived for multiple years and remains thick year-round, even during the summer.
•The majority of this recent loss in ice concentration observed in the study is thought to be largely caused by unusual weather as Northwest Pacific experienced unusually high temperatures this year due to the Heat Dome Effect.
•While climate projections forecast the total disappearance of summer ice in the Arctic by the year 2040, the only place that would be able to withstand a warming climate would be this area.
•Scientists had believed this area was strong enough to withstand global warming.