Scientists have said that the Arctic sea ice could vanish in summers this century even if governments achieve a core target for limiting global warming set by almost 200 countries.
The ice has been shrinking steadily in recent decades, damaging the livelihoods of indigenous people and wildlife, such as polar bears, while opening the region to more shipping and oil and gas exploration.
According to Inquirer.net, with the total population of polar bears reduced to around 26,000, the struggle to survive without the floating ice platforms from which they hunt seals and other prey would be their only chance.
Under the 2015 Paris agreement, governments set a goal of limiting the rise in average world temperatures to well below 2C (3.6F) above pre-industrial times, with an aspiration of just 1.5C.
However, according to some lecturers at Exeter university, United kingdom, Dr. James screen and Dr. Daniel Williamson, “The 2C target may be insufficient to prevent an ice-free Arctic”.
These scientists stated this in the Nature Climate Change journal after a review of ice projections.
They said a 2C rise would still mean a 39 per cent risk that ice would disappear in the Arctic Ocean in summers, They estimated a 73 per cent probability that the ice would disappear in summer unless governments made deeper cuts in emissions than their existing plans, adding that temperatures would rise 3C based on current trends.
Screen and Williams however noted that with 1.5C of warming the Ice was virtually certain to survive, and this would come a relief to indigenous peoples whose way of life, and livelihood, depend on ice persisting through the summer months
This month the extent of Arctic sea ice is rivaling 2016 and 2015 as the smallest for the time of year since satellite records began in the late 1970s. The ice reaches its coldest season in March and warmest in September.