Science Articles

HOW THE ARCTIC OCEAN TURNED SALTY

The Arctic Ocean used to be a huge freshwater lake but the current scenario is that it has turned salty.

The Arctic Ocean used to be a huge freshwater lake but the current scenario is that it has turned salty. The Arctic Ocean is the shallowest and smallest of all the five oceans of the world. Even though some scientists consider it as a sea or some estuary of the Atlantic Ocean, the International Hydrographic Organisation gives it recognition of ocean. Irrespective of the classification, the mystery is how the ocean has turned salty.

Scientists recognised the growing patterns of salt content in the ocean when the global water levels rose enough for the submergence of the land bridge that lies between Scotland and Greenland. This also established a channel for communication. Using the help of a climate model, the science researchers have demonstrated the process and procedure for the change in things. The researchers belonged to Alfred Wegener, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research.

Facts remained that the Arctic Ocean had the lowest amount of salt content because of less evaporation, reduced temperature and also the inflow from the rivers streams into it which have high freshwater content. But right now, the ocean has turned disturbingly salty.

Using the climate model, they stated that every year, there is an inflow of almost 3,300 cubic kilometres of freshwater content into the Arctic Ocean. This means that an extremely high amount of salt content is needed to outbalance the equation. Earlier, the inflow was even higher. But owing to the Scotland Greenland Bridge, the salt content has started to increase.

The changes seemed to occur only when the land bridge had managed to reach the depth of more than 50 metres below the surface. This was a major turning point since it corresponds to the depth of the surface and facilitates the circulation of water between other oceans and the Arctic Ocean. This also led to changes in the climate of the Earth owing to the transportation of heat between the world and the Arctic Ocean.

When the land bridge got submerged by 200 metres, the salt water of North Atlantic Ocean had an unhindered flow directly into the Arctic Ocean, which makes the water turn salty. Therefore, the Arctic Ocean has turned salty because of the depth of the land bridge that lies between Greenland and Scotland.

As of the current status, the bridge is submerged below 500 metres of the sea level.  And explains why the Arctic ocean turned salty.