Environmental

Rivers melt Arctic ice, warming air and ocean

A new study shows that increased heat from Arctic rivers is melting sea ice in the Arctic Ocean and warming the atmosphere.

The study published this week in Science Advances was led by the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology, with contributing authors in the United States, United Arab Emirates, Finland and Canada.

According to the research, major Arctic rivers contribute significantly more heat to the Arctic Ocean than they did in 1980. River heat is responsible for up to 10% of the total sea ice loss that occurred from 1980 to 2015 over the shelf region of the Arctic Ocean. That melt is equivalent to about 120,000 square miles of 1-meter thick ice.

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