Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Stunning Drone Video of Sea Ice Reveals Unexpected Climate Change Effects

Climate

When climate hobbyist Andre Beyzaei flies his drone over the North Atlantic coast, he doesn't normally capture much ice on camera.

"Usually you see a bit of sea-ice along the coasts and if you happen to fly the drone far enough, you may capture some icebergs much further away," Beyzaei told Global News.


So Beyzaei was in for an early April Fool's shock on March 27, when he flew his drone off the Newfoundland coast and recorded astonishing footage of sea ice stretching over Brighton, Newfoundland, Global News reported Sunday.

The footage might come as a surprise to anyone who has been closely following the state of the Arctic this year.

As EcoWatch reported in March, the Arctic has just experienced its warmest winter on record. Arctic sea ice also reached its second-lowest extent on record this year, just barely inching out 2017's ice coverage to avoid being the lowest year for Arctic sea ice ever.

But according to research published in Geophysical Research Letters on March 15 and cited by Global News, footage like Beyzaei's is exactly what you can expect from the impacts of climate change on the Arctic.

As the study's abstract and introduction explain, the spring of 2017 also saw increased ice off the Newfoundland Coast, sinking two fishing boats and causing trouble for other ships that had not expected to encounter obstacles at that time of year. The research vessel and icebreaker, the Canadian Coast Guard Ship Amundsen, was redirected by the coast guard to rescue these ships, and used the opportunity to study the unusual build-up of ice.

The scientists found multiyear sea ice from the high Arctic among the ice cover. This is unusual, as ice off the Newfoundland coast is usually mostly first-year ice and only lasts from January to May, whereas last year's build-up persisted into June.

The researchers concluded that Arctic sea ice has become more mobile as it has decreased in thickness and extent. It has therefore pushed through channels in the Arctic Ocean such as the Bering and Nares Straits and ended up accumulating more in southern waters than before.

Beyzaei's footage further confirms their conclusions and suggests another difficult spring for ship traffic in the area.

"This is something we need to better prepare for in the future, because we expect this phenomenon to go on for at least a couple more decades as we transition to an ice-free Arctic in the summer," David Barber, the study's lead author and University of Manitoba climate change scientist, told Global News.

Valley of the Gods in the heart of Bears Ears National Monument. Mint Images / Getty Images

By Sharon Buccino

This week, Secretary Haaland chose a visit to Bears Ears National Monument as her first trip as Interior Secretary. She is spending three days in Bluff, Utah, a small town just outside the monument, listening to representatives of the five tribes who first proposed its designation to President Obama in 2015. This is the same town where former Secretary Sally Jewell spent several hours at a public hearing in July 2016 before recommending the monument's designation to President Obama.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Pexels

By Anthony Richardson, Chhaya Chaudhary, David Schoeman, and Mark John Costello

The tropical water at the equator is renowned for having the richest diversity of marine life on Earth, with vibrant coral reefs and large aggregations of tunas, sea turtles, manta rays and whale sharks. The number of marine species naturally tapers off as you head towards the poles.

Read More Show Less
Trending
"Secrets of the Whales" is a new series that will start streaming on Disney+ on Earth Day. Disney+

In celebration of Earth Day, a star-studded cast is giving fans a rare glimpse into the secret lives of some of the planet's most majestic animals: whales. In "Secrets of the Whales," a four-part documentary series by renowned National Geographic Photographer and Explorer Brian Skerry and Executive Producer James Cameron, viewers plunge deep into the lives and worlds of five different whale species.

Read More Show Less
Spring is an excellent time to begin bird watching in earnest. Eugenio Marongiu / Cultura / Getty Images

The coronavirus has isolated many of us in our homes this year. We've been forced to slow down a little, maybe looking out our windows, becoming more in tune with the rhythms of our yards. Perhaps we've begun to notice more, like the birds hopping around in the bushes out back, wondering (maybe for the first time) what they are.

Read More Show Less
The brown pelican is seen on Queen Bess Island in Louisiana in March 2021. Casey Wright / LDWF biologist

Who says you can't go home again?

Read More Show Less