The findings have potentially troubling implications for the Wandel Sea and nearby waters north of Canada, a region often referred to as the “last ice area.” Because a circular ocean current, the Beaufort Gyre, tends to keep ice trapped there, climate models have predicted that it will likely retain ice as warming causes the rest of the Arctic Ocean to become ice-free in summers, perhaps in the next few decades.
If this region does remain full of ice, it may provide a last summer refuge for polar bears and other Arctic wildlife that is dependent on sea ice. But the new research suggests the area may be less resilient to warming, and that similar periods of low ice concentrations are to be expected.
Fountain, Henry. 2021. "Arctic's 'Last Ice Area' May Be Less Resistant to Global Warming" The New York Times. July 1, 2021.