You might be wondering why I’m posting this article, especially considering the fact that I normally post photos and the focus of this Tumblr is, well, the weather. However, the different -spheres of the planet are interconnected and have a major impact on how this planet, including its inhabitants, function. With climate change becoming a greater threat, we are seeing rapid changes and phenomena that we haven’t seen before. It’s really quite alarming.
So, big waves, eh? What does this mean? Why is this important? This just adds to the increasing evidence that supports the notion that global climate change is very real.
Let me briefly get into the science behind it. The poles are very cold. The article focuses on the Arctic, so we’ll turn our attention to that region. What the researchers measured were surface waves, which includes a swell. In short, this is a series of waves that are generated by a distant weather system but are no longer under the influence of the wind from the aforementioned weather system. Okay, so they recorded a swell? Big deal. Yes, it is a big deal.
When you think of the Arctic Ocean, what comes to mind? Ice. Ice has this ability to suppress/dissipate wave energy, so when you have an extensive range of ice, it is difficult to maintain that energy in the form of a swell. The fact that scientists have been able to record a swell in this region signifies that enough ice has melted that the wave energy is no longer dissipated. The funny thing about this is that the increase in swell frequency can result in more ice breaking up. In turn, this can change the dynamics of the Arctic Ocean.
Here is the link to the paper if you’re interested.