As Sea Ice Melts, Storm Surges Batter Arctic Coasts

As the climate warms and changes, scientists learn more about the planet’s the intricate connections. Rising temperatures not only deliver harsher storms and melt sea ice – the loss of thick sea ice eliminates an obstacle that once slowed Arctic storms, and analysts predict new speed and power behind storm surges and ocean flooding. In turn, rising saltwater is killing off vegetation that buffered coastlines against storms The reduced sea ice will also contribute to more intense natural-resources extraction, shipping and port development. “In summer 2012, 46 voyages successfully crossed the Northern Sea Route, which runs along the Russian coast from Murmansk through the Bering Sea,” reports Becky Oskin for LiveScience. “By 2040, even regular ships will sail parts of the Arctic Ocean, and they will not need icebreakers to clear the path as they do today, according to another study published [March 4] in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.” The researchers warn that those ships and ports will confront fiercer storms. – YaleGlobal

As Sea Ice Melts, Storm Surges Batter Arctic Coasts

Due to rising global temperatures, sea ice no longer protects against storm surges and flooding; plans proceed for direct route between Atlantic and Pacific
Becky Oskin
Thursday, March 7, 2013
Becky Oskin is a LiveScience OurAmazingPlanet staff writer.
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