Researchers have found evidence that warmer Arctic water has penetrated deep into the interior of the region. This heat is still trapped just below the surface. However, it has the potential to melt the entire Arctic ice pack as it rises and touches the surface.
"We document a remarkable warming of the oceans in one of the main basins of the Arctic Ocean, the Canadian Basin." Louise Timmermans of Yale University
The main reason for this change is the rise in temperature: rising temperatures have far-reaching consequences for the world's ecosystems, but the effects are more pronounced in the Arctic: while the Arctic warms, its ice melts. The exposed surface decreases more sunlight instead of reflecting it back into space, causing the temperature to continue to rise and melt more.
Researchers have tracked the changes in the Canadian basin over the past 30 years During this time, there was a twofold increase in heat, and they also found a warm layer of water about 50 meters below the surface, hundreds of miles to the south is the warmer water in the north and trapping below the surface
The trapping effect is caused by the different layers of water in the Arctic. On the top is a less dense freshwater layer, while salty water remains in the bottom. The warm water is held at this depth by the colder freshwater layer. When these two layers mix, they accelerate the loss of ice.
"This means that the effects of sea ice loss are not limited to the ice-free regions themselves, but also lead to increased heat accumulation inside the ice Arctic Ocean, which may have climate effects well beyond the summer season," said Timmermans. Currently, this heat is trapped beneath the surface layer, and if blended with the surface, there is enough heat to completely melt the sea ice that covers that region for most of the year. "