Climate researchers spent 389 days across the Arctic, during the world's biggest mission to the North Pole called the Multidisciplinary drifting Observatory for the Study of Arctic Climate (MOSAiC) expedition. According to the scientists, the finding should serve as a warning that if action is not taken, the human species will pay the price.
Before the vessel carrying scientists from all around the world set its course to the long voyage, Rhode Island native Dr. Alison Fong said that she and her colleagues on the ship, RV Polarstern, were looking at creating a whole "picture of what the Arctic is going to do in the coming years".
But the actual picture which they noticed based on the makeshift labs-on-ice and high-tech equipment, is not good. They understood one hard-to-swallow fact and that is ice-free Arctic summers could be a reality in just decades due to manmade greenhouse gas emissions which continuously warming the planet.
The Crisis Is Visible
Fong told CBS News: "As scientists, I think we need to be more outspoken about the crisis that we see in front of us. We know that what we have done is caused an increase in temperature and CO2 on Earth, and that causes warming, and that warming is causing the melting of both the north and the south." According to him, the loss of Polar ice is causing major changes to the way the climate functions.
These changes are also causing more wildfires in the US, stronger and frequent hurricanes, and more floods as well as droughts around the world. A recent climate report from the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) said Australia's climate is expected to become warmer and drier, increasing the risk of drought and extreme environmental incidents such as bushfires.
However, after a year-long expedition when the researchers returned from the isolated, rarely visited part of the world, it is very different. Now, almost all the countries are struggling to deal with the Coronavirus pandemic. Fong said some people think that perhaps because of this focus on the global health crisis, "we also can't address the issues of climate and global warming. But they're not exclusive. We're trying to do things. But the reality is, trying is not enough anymore. We must take action."
Over the years, climatologists and environmental experts have been urging to take action against the climate crisis, by producing clean energy, recycling, and consuming less. As per Fong, what is important now is to "speak out" and influence those who are in a position of power so that "they recognize that there is a reason to choose something different than what we have chosen over the last 50 to 100 years."
Fong said it is high time about the choices "we need to make about how we sustain humanity must be different." The scientist also believes that efforts must come from national and international levels that would help to halt the damages to the warming climate.