Beaufort Sea

Scientists from the University of Washington, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have found that the freshwater content of the Arctic Ocean has increased by 40 percent in the last two decades. According to Nature Communications, the penetration of freshwater into the Atlantic Ocean could have a catastrophic effect on the global climate.

According to scientists, the accumulation of fresh water occurs due to the melting of Arctic ice. Freshwater is currently on brackish water and is preserved on the surface by winds in the Beaufort Sea, creating something like a water dome. If the winds weaken, freshwater will seep into the North Atlantic, including the Labrador Sea. This, in turn, will affect large ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the circulation of cold and hot waters.

Currently, the volume of freshwater in the Beaufort Sea is twice as much as last year, and is 23 thousand cubic kilometers. Although the exact impact of such a freshwater “bomb” on the Atlantic is impossible to predict, scientists believe it will have a significant impact on the climate of the entire Northern Hemisphere.