Climate change has affected one of the most vast and deep seas of the Earth.
Scientists noticed that the Bering sea during the colder months freeze is much weaker than it should be.
Usually in March, the ice covers a significant distance from the Bering Strait to the South, almost to the Aleutian Islands.
But in the last two winters the ice cover at the border with Alaska is at its lowest level since records began in 1978, according to .
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This decline came as a surprise to experts. Some computer climate models suggested that the Bering sea will remain ice in winter for many following decades.
But the changed circulation of winds and warming water have changed the situation.
Historically, the cold winter winds blowing from the North, drove the ice from the Northern shores of the sea to the South.
But in the last four winters winter winds during the month or even longer blew from the South, bringing warmer air masses and preventing the spread of ice.
Scientists have suggested that the reason for such changes – climate warming. The growth temperature affects the polar jet stream (a powerful river of air that flows around the Arctic from West to East) and makes it more wavy, tend to meander North and South.
As a result, the weather in the vast territories changes dramatically. So, in the US the last two winters have been abnormally cold, and over the Bering sea, on the contrary, become warmer.
However, this theory remains unproven.
But it is obvious that the reduction in the area of ice is connected with heating of sea water. In the beginning of 2018, the temperature in the Northern Bering sea by two degrees Celsius above the normal indicators. Since open water absorbs more heat, further heating will increase, and each additional degree, according to scientists, the delay in the initiation of ice formation at three weeks.
Warming has already begun to affect the state of marine ecosystems. Decreased the amount of algae that lie at the base of the food chain, after that began to die the zooplankton feeding on them, then suffered small fish. Local residents also reported an unusual extinction of the slender-billed murres – seabirds that feed on these fish.
The massive “cold pool” in the Central and Northern part of the Bering sea is essential for the survival of valuable species such as Pollock and Pacific cod. In 2018, the area of this pool was the smallest of all, ever was, and the fishermen said a significant decline in catches at the usual sites.
If the warming trend continues, experts say, can be seriously affected and marine life, and the people who depend on the fishing industry.
Earlier it was reported that ice in Antarctica melted to a record high.