British researchers have found that melting glaciers and ice sheets in two archipelagos in Russia’s Arctic region produces as much melt water as filling nearly five million Olympic swimming pools each year.

According to satellite data, the warming of the Arctic Ocean plays an important role in accelerating the loss of ice in the two large archipelagos bordering the Kara Sea.

Scientists at the University of Edinburgh used data collected by the European Space Agency (ESA’s) CryoSat-2 research satellite to monitor the height and weight of ice sheets and glaciers. Comparing the information with climatic data from the same period clearly highlighted the link between rising atmospheric and ocean temperatures and increased ice loss in the two archipelagos.

It found that the archipelagos of Novaya Zemlya and Svernaya Zemlya, which cover a total of about 130 square kilometres, lost 11.4 billion tons of ice every year between 2010 and 2018.

Even thinning of the ice has had a severe impact on the stability of some glaciers and ice sheets in the region, and the melting of snow may intensify in the future.

Compared to the relatively small size of glaciers, ice caps are masses of hundreds of meters of ice covering an area of ​​about 20,000 square kilometres. Some icy bodies contain ice up to 12,000 years old, providing valuable information to scientists about the Arctic climate.

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a Geophysical Research Journal: Earth’s surface Results of a study published in the scientific journal.

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