London [UK], Nov. 25 (ANI
): Arctic scientists have warned that the rapid melting of the ice cap risks triggering 19 "tipping points" in the region that could have disastrous consequences around the globe.
The Arctic Resilience Report found that the effects of Arctic warming could be felt as far away as the Indian Ocean.
Temperatures in the Arctic are currently about 20C above what would be expected for the time of year, which scientists describe as "off the charts". Sea ice is at the lowest extent ever recorded for the time of year, the Guardian reports.
"The warning signals are getting louder. These developments also make the potential for triggering [tipping points] and feedback loops much larger," said Marcus Carson of the Stockholm Environment Institute and one of the lead authors of the report.
The research, compiled by 11 organisations including the Arctic Council and six universities, comes at a critical time, not only because of the current Arctic temperature rises but in political terms.
Aides to the US president-elect, Donald Trump, this week unveiled plans to remove the budget for climate change science currently used by Nasa and other US federal agencies for projects such as examining Arctic changes, and to spend it instead on space exploration.
"That would be a huge mistake. It would be like ripping out the aeroplane's cockpit instruments while you are in mid-flight. These are very serious problems, very serious changes are happening, but they are still poorly understood. We need more research to understand them. A lot of the major science is done by the US." Carson said.
The authors of the reports also warned that people living in and near the Arctic would be badly affected, and called for communities to be provided with equipment and skills to survive. (ANI