Tags: north pole | lake | arctice | ice | melt

North Pole: Lake Forms as Ice Melts at the Top of the World

Thursday, 25 Jul 2013 08:15 PM

By Robin Farmer

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The North Pole is currently a lake, thanks to summer ice melting away quickly and leaving a body of water instead of snow and ice.

"It’s a shallow lake. It’s a cold lake. But it is, actually, a lake," writes William Wolfe-Wylie of Canada.com.

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LiveScience says the lake is only about a foot deep. Its water comes from melted ice and not sea water.

July is the biggest melting month in the Arctic, but temperatures were 2 to 5 degrees warmer than average when the lake began forming July 13, according to LiveScience.

With the warmer temperatures may come even more melt, as the lake will absorb more of the sun than ice. And it might get even worse.

An Arctic cyclone, which can match a hurricane in strength, is forecast to hit this week, which will further fracture the ice, LiveScience says, quickening the summer melt.

All this thawing comes with a price tag: an estimated $60 trillion, researchers say. Methane gas from melting seas can increase climate change, which in turn adds to the costs associated with global warming.

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