Arctic melting Glaciers to speed up global warming

Panaji: The Arctic would drastically reduce its capability to act as a "global carbon sink" in the future due to the quickly receding glacier cover, according to the Indian mission on the region.

Researchers from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), who returned from the Arctic assignment recently, have said the trend is a serious concern as it may fuel global warming.

NIO`s senior scientist S Prasannakumar said that Arctic seas and land together accounts for about 25 per cent of the world`s carbon sink.

"The melting of glaciers and Ice cover from Fjords would mean a less efficient carbon sink that would end up in faster global warming," he said.

The five-member NIO team, which was in the icy continent in the last week of May, have chosen Kongsforden Fjord as the sample water body which would now be monitored for next decade.

Prassanakumar said that Kongsforden Fjord is situated just 100 metres away from Himadri, Indian research station on Arctic continent. Fjord is a long inlet with steep sides created in a valley carved by glacier activity.

The Fjord is being studied for physical, chemical and biological parameter study of Kongsforden Fjord located in the Arctic region.

Scientists have raised concerns on melting glacier as the phenomenon has been reported more rapid since last half a decade.

Dr Prasannakumar said, "In simple terms, this means that Arctic will loose its ability to absorb large amount of carbon dioxide thereby accelerating the global warming process."

The other worries that melting glaciers would enhance sea water are also on the agenda of researchers.

"It is estimated that Arctic region would be ice free in next 30-40 years time," the researcher said, adding `global carbon cycle will change with the melting of Arctic glaciers.`