( RIA Novosti ) - Scientists have reported substantial climate changes in the Arctic Region, a senior official at the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute (AARI) said on Thursday.
"We have observed global climate changes in the Arctic," said Igor Ashik, acting head of the AARI ocean science department said.
He said the ocean was clearing itself of drifting ice, "for the first time in decades of Polar research." Ashik also said that the ice had become thinner.
The researcher said temperatures on the ocean surface had also increased to five to seven degrees Centigrade (41- 44.6 Fahrenheit). "Never before have the temperatures in the [ocean] water risen that high," Ashik said.
However, he said scientists could not for the time being forecast the consequences of the phenomena, which could be serious if the process proves irrevocable.
"The deicing of the ocean currently poses no threat, but if Arctic and Antarctic ice starts melting, we could be speaking about a significant rise in the level of the world oceans, and an impact on the lives of people inhabiting coastal areas," Ashik said.