From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Atlantification
Mains level : Impact of climate changes
Scientists have uncovered “hotspots” where some parts of the Barents Sea are starting to more closely resemble the Atlantic. They call this phenomenon “Atlantification”.
Try this MCQ:
Q.The Atlantification phenomenon sometimes seen in news is most closely related to which of the following seas/water bodies?
a) Norwegian Sea
b) Kara Sea
c) Barents Sea
d) Baffin Bay
What is Atlantification?
- Streams of warmer water from the Atlantic Ocean flow into the Arctic at the Barents Sea.
- This warmer, saltier Atlantic water is usually fairly deep under the more buoyant Arctic water at the surface.
- Lately, however, the Atlantic water has been creeping up. That heat in the Atlantic water is helping to keep ice from forming and melting existing sea ice from below.
- This process is called “Atlantification”.
- The ice is now getting hit both from the top by a warming atmosphere and at the bottom by a warming ocean.
Reasons for it
- In the background of all of this is global climate change.
- The Arctic sea ice extent and thickness have been dropping for decades as global temperatures rise.
- As the Arctic loses ice and the ocean absorbs more solar radiation, global warming is amplified.
- That affects ocean circulation, weather patterns and Arctic ecosystems spanning the food chain, from phytoplankton all the way to top predators.