Within the scope of the National Antarctic Scientific Expedition organized by Turkey for the seventh time, Turkish scientists have observed the consequences of global climate change by following the melting of sea ice on their cruise route.
Turkish scientists aboard the 80-meter Chilean research vessel “Betanzos” sailed within the scope of the Seventh Antarctic Scientific Expedition, which is being conducted under the auspices of the Presidency, under the responsibility of the Ministry of Industry and Technology, and with the coordination of. From TÜBİTAK MAM Polar Research Institute.
Turkish scientists reached Horseshoe Island with the new crossing road formed in the Gullet and Barlas Canal, which was previously covered with ice due to melting sea ice as a result of global climate change during the expedition.
According to information collected by the AA reporter, the minimum sea ice width in Antarctica in 2023 fell to 1.79 million square kilometers, the lowest level ever, on February 21. While this data is 1.05 million square kilometers below the 1981-2010 average, it also indicates a new record low each year.
The lowest Arctic sea ice supply was seen in September 2022, with this minimum supply decreasing by 12.6 percent per 10 years compared to the 1981-2010 range.
Turkey’s National Antarctic Science Expedition takes place every year from January to March. While new routes for ships have been opened as a result of the melting of sea ice-covered areas in previous years, the new routes created as a result of global climate change are also of concern to scientists working on the continent.
“We’ve seen how much sea ice, which stabilizes the climate, has decreased this year, too.”
Captain Ozgun Oktar, Commander of the 7th National Antarctic Science Expedition, stated that they carry out scientific projects in Antarctica from January to March every year as part of the studies and they also monitor the results of climate change during these studies.
Oktar said, “We’ve seen how much sea ice, which balances our world’s climate, is decreasing this year. In fact, sea ice, which we’ve been monitoring with satellites since the 1970s, is decreasing now. We’ve been through the Gullet and Barlas Channel, which has always been Covered with sea ice during these periods for years and we can’t pass through it, and as you can see, there are only some icebergs on the surface of the sea. This presents us with fears about the future.” He said.
Oktar reported that they learned that the cruise ships they encountered during the voyage had descended to a latitude of 73 degrees to encounter sea ice, and continued as follows:
“We are currently operating at 67 degrees. Sea ice has been here before. Up to 5 latitudes south, we see sea ice melting. Of course, climate change is not just about the disappearance of sea ice. The change in the precipitation regime that affects the whole world.” “The change in the temperature regime causes extreme weather conditions. Perhaps the loss of one square kilometer of ice here would mean more floods and more forest fires in Turkey that year. In our expedition, we are doing research on the impact of humanity and climate change in this region.”
We are now in the thaw period.
Captain Sinan Twenty Başoğlu of the Tubitak Mem Polar Research Institute also mentioned that they have examined 3 separate bays on Horseshoe Island, thanks to the data they received with the development of satellite technology since the beginning of the 2000s.
Twentybeşoğlu said: “In my study of sea ice, I would like to mention that we have seen that the number of sunny days has increased, cloudy days have changed and sea ice has decreased in summer periods depending on the trends. In this way, in fact, ships can come to the island more easily, and have “We decided that even ships with the lowest ice layer could come to the island in a few months. We’ve seen that record climate change, which we know is very bad for climate, is experienced exactly at the poles.” Use his statements.
Twenty Başoğlu noted that there is a definite coldness in the seas and lands of the world:
“It is raining now, but we see it as snow because the temperature is low. This snowfall turns into ice after it falls on Antarctica. In other words, since the temperature is not above zero degrees, it continues to freeze. Layers form on the ground that We call it a glacier.While this water rises to 4 km in Antarctica, the situation in the sea is completely different…Because the sea is not fresh water, but the salt water and the chemicals and density in it are very different.Once the sea ice starts to freeze On the surface, it would need minus 1.5 degrees Celsius. But when we pollute the seas, 1.5 degrees Celsius would require lower degrees because the density of the water and the acidity of the ocean changes. But that’s not available. That’s why we see these sea ices constantly changing.”
Pointing out that sea ice is not seen in Turkey, Esreen Başoğlu said that it generally forms in the polar oceans, and that the entire continent freezes during the winter months.
Twentybeşoğlu said, “While I was working in the Baltic Sea before, I studied the sea ice there. Since the sun’s rays do not come vertically in the polar regions, the temperature is low and it gets colder during the dark periods. The sea is coming into a proper frozen environment. But where does this happen? The cold, that is, wherever the sea water temperature drops below minus 1.5 degrees, sea ice forms. For example, 38 degrees north latitude, any bay in China can also freeze. When you trace the latitude of this bay, it coincides with Izmir.We all know how hot Izmir is.Here is one of the biggest indicators that we can see sea ice even in Izmir in the coming years.We have a trend of ice ages in the world.The world freezes, thaws and freezes again.We are currently in the thawing period.We will see them again In the centuries and thousands to come. He said.
“We aim to reveal the consequences of climate change”
Mustafa Fahri Karabulut, Engineering Research Assistant at Yıldız Technical University emphasized that their main goal is to investigate the causes of climate change within the scope of the projects they implemented in the 7th National Antarctic Science Expedition.
“Climate change has increased ocean water by 20 cm in a period of about 150-200 years, with an average global temperature increase of plus one degree since the 1850s and melting of glaciers in the Arctic and Antarctic. According to the projections, the pace will continue This increase is expected to increase in the next 50 or 100 years.Therefore, every measurement made is of great importance to increase the accuracy of future models and future predictions.
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