Wildlife and environment
WWF: Arctic coast eroding rapidly due to climate change
© RIA Novosti. Valeriy Melnikov

WWF: Arctic coast eroding rapidly due to climate change

The coastline of Vize Island in the Kara Sea has shrunk in places by over 70 m, which can be described as a global record, RIA Novosti reports quoting WWF Russia.

"The coastline of Vize Island was shrinking earlier, too; it is a natural process. But in the 1950s, Arctic researchers registered the average rate of the coast erosion at 1.5 m per year while satellite images show that the coast retreated by 74 m in 2009-2016 in the same location," the agency quoted glaciologist Alexander Aleinikov as saying. He made this discovery when preparing data for a planned federal sanctuary on Vize Island.

WWF Russia said these changes were above all caused by the sea waves washing away the permafrost coastline. The waves' impact directly depends on the number of summer days when the island is surrounded by open ice-free waters. Analysis of the Landsat satellite images over the past few years has shown that the ice-free water season has increased due to the global warming effect. For instance, a satellite image taken on July 15, 2016 reveals that there is no floating ice around Vize Island.