It's not so much a tipping point as a flipping point. The Barents Sea, a component of the Arctic Ocean much like the Beaufort Sea or the Chukchi Sea, is heating rapidly.
A rapid climate shift under way in the Barents Sea could spread to other Arctic regions, scientists warn.
The Barents Sea is said to be at a tipping point, changing from an Arctic climate to an Atlantic climate as the water gets warmer.
A conference in Norway heard that the Kara Sea and the Laptev Sea – both further to the east - are likely to become the new Arctic frontier.
The scientists warn that it will affect ecosystems.
The Arctic Ocean has a cold, fresh surface layer which acts as a cap on a layer of warm, saltier Atlantic water beneath.
But now in the Barents Sea there’s not enough freshwater-rich sea-ice flowing from the high Arctic to maintain the freshwater cap. And that’s allowing warm, salty Atlantic water to rise to the surface.
In what’s known as a feedback loop - the more the layers mix, the warmer the surface gets. And the warmer the surface gets, the more the waters mix.
So it’s now only a matter of time, the researchers say, before this section of the Arctic effectively becomes part of the Atlantic. It could happen in as little as a decade, they warn.Now you might be a Trudeau or Scheer acolyte or just a petro-state Canadian but these changes, that we can no longer stop but sure as hell can speed up, will have serious impacts on Canada and the world. We've been warned, repeatedly, that we're out of time and our only hope of averting catastrophic climate change is to immediately slash our greenhouse gas emissions, meaning we have to put the brakes on our fossil fuel industries. Yet this year we will elect one of two jackasses who are bent on flooding world markets with the most toxic, highest-carbon ersatz petroleum on the planet. Vote for Trudeau or Scheer, that's what you're endorsing.