The freezing tundra that was the North Pole is now home to a lake. A picture, obtained by the North Pole Environmental Observatory this week, shows a shocking wide-angled photograph of the location’s newest lake, possible evidence of global warming.
According to experts, this isn’t the first or the most severe water mass to appear in the northern hemisphere. “I have seen much more extensive ponding,” principal investigator for the North Pole Environmental Observatory, James Morison, told The Atlantic Wednesday, who said the image is misleading. “Because we use wide-angle lenses, the melt pond looks much bigger than it is,” he said.
The lake, which was photographed by the observatory’s weather buoy-attached camera Monday, is reportedly a result of the longtime decline of sea ice in the region due to global warming and the more recent increase in land temperature. Live Science reported Tuesday that the lake appeared following two weeks of warm weather in the arctic region after temperatures reached up to five degrees higher than average according to the National Snow & Ice Data Center.
The release of the image helps to confirm the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s, also known as the NOAA, Dec. 2012 Arctic report card. According to the report, which compiled multiple observations from over 140 scientists studying the region’s environmental system, the arctic region is confirmed to have dramatically altered from its former state. “Major changes in recent years are widespread, sustained and occurring faster than anticipated,” said the NOAA in a statement alongside the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program of the Arctic Council. “The minimum artic sea ice extent in 2012 was nearly half the values seen at the end of the last century… The large environmental shifts in 2012 provide evidence of sustained arctic change."
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