Researchers have found five new islands in the frosty waters off the north coast of Russia.
While new discoveries are typically something to celebrate, you should perhaps hold off the champagne for now – the islands were only revealed thanks to glacial melting.
The new islands, ranging in size from 900 to 54,500 square meters (9,600-586,600 square feet), can be found near Novaya Zemlya and Franz Josef Land in the Arctic Ocean, two archipelagos of hundreds of islands solely inhabited by military personnel.
All of the islands were previously engulfed in ice by the Nansen glacier, also known as the Vylka, and were exposed by receding glacier ice.
The presence of new islands in the area was first suggested by a college student studying satellite images in late 2016. The presence of at least five new islands has been confirmed this week by the Russian Ministry of Defense following a recent expedition by the Russian Navy research vessel Vizir.
The Arctic Circle is experiencing some of the sharpest increases in warmer weather worldwide. A crazy example was a temperature of 34.8°C (94.6°F) on July 26, 2019 measured in a Swedish village in the Arctic Circle.
Here a video reporting the discovery of such islands in the same area last year:
“The Arctic is currently warming two to three times faster than the rest of the globe, so naturally, glaciers and ice caps are going to react faster,” said Simon Pendleton from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research.
Although some major glaciers seem to increase in size in Greenland, I think we may start worrying about these new islands forming or other lakes disappearing due to increasing temperatures and global weather chaos across the world.