The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in the summer within the next 30 years, a study says, which will result in "devastating consequences for the Arctic ecosystem," according to McGill University in Montreal. Sea ice is frozen ocean water that melts each summer, then refreezes each winter. The amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic has been steadily shrinking over the past few decades because of global warming. Since satellite records began in 1979, summer Arctic ice has lost 40% of its area and up to 70% of its volume, the Guardian said.
While the Arctic sea ice extent is decreasing during this transition to an ice-free Arctic, the year-to-year variability in extent greatly increases, making life more difficult for local populations and ice-dependent species," said study co-author Bruno Tremblay of the department of atmospheric and oceanic sciences at McGill.