Do icebreaker ships breaking through ice contribute to ice melt, and changes in the ecology (i.e. make life harder for polar bears) given they are constantly smashing through ice that would otherwise remain intact?

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Do icebreaker ships breaking through ice contribute to ice melt, and changes in the ecology (i.e. make life harder for polar bears) given they are constantly smashing through ice that would otherwise remain intact?

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Anonymous 0 Comments

No, icebreaker ships break up ice to free up smaller vessels who get stuck when ice blocks their usual route. They don’t go far or fast, they’re only called upon as needed. Merchant ships, ferries, and cruise liners have regular routes, so the ice along their route will seasonally break apart and melt anyway.

This is different from the deep freeze areas that are at risk of melting due to global warming. Those areas stay cold due to albedo effect, but global warming causes a spiral where melt reduces albedo which accelerates melt.

Anonymous 0 Comments

No, icebreaker ships break up ice to free up smaller vessels who get stuck when ice blocks their usual route. They don’t go far or fast, they’re only called upon as needed. Merchant ships, ferries, and cruise liners have regular routes, so the ice along their route will seasonally break apart and melt anyway.

This is different from the deep freeze areas that are at risk of melting due to global warming. Those areas stay cold due to albedo effect, but global warming causes a spiral where melt reduces albedo which accelerates melt.

Anonymous 0 Comments

No, icebreaker ships break up ice to free up smaller vessels who get stuck when ice blocks their usual route. They don’t go far or fast, they’re only called upon as needed. Merchant ships, ferries, and cruise liners have regular routes, so the ice along their route will seasonally break apart and melt anyway.

This is different from the deep freeze areas that are at risk of melting due to global warming. Those areas stay cold due to albedo effect, but global warming causes a spiral where melt reduces albedo which accelerates melt.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They do contribute to global warming by the emissions from their engines, but not more than any other ship of similar size. The ice they break is still there after they passed through, just in a different place. Also, they (mostly) only go into areas where the ice melts each summer anyway (because where it doesn’t, the ice is too thick to break it apart).

And you have to remember that the total number of ice breaker ships in the world is a tiny, tiny fraction of the total number of ships producing emissions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They do contribute to global warming by the emissions from their engines, but not more than any other ship of similar size. The ice they break is still there after they passed through, just in a different place. Also, they (mostly) only go into areas where the ice melts each summer anyway (because where it doesn’t, the ice is too thick to break it apart).

And you have to remember that the total number of ice breaker ships in the world is a tiny, tiny fraction of the total number of ships producing emissions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

They do contribute to global warming by the emissions from their engines, but not more than any other ship of similar size. The ice they break is still there after they passed through, just in a different place. Also, they (mostly) only go into areas where the ice melts each summer anyway (because where it doesn’t, the ice is too thick to break it apart).

And you have to remember that the total number of ice breaker ships in the world is a tiny, tiny fraction of the total number of ships producing emissions.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The ice-breaking itself has almost no impact.

First, note that these ships only break sea ice – that is, ice that is floating in the water. When floating ice melts, this does not add any additional water volume to the ocean. So as far as melting ice goes, only meltwater from land ice contributes to sea level rise. So, even if breaking through ice causes it to melt a little faster, that has no effect on sea levels. Also, the amount of ice broken by these ships is really minimal. They’re not trying to break up entire ice sheets – they’re just clearing a path. So even if they do cause a bit of extra ice melt, it will be a tiny drop in a very large bucket.

Ecologically, the impact is also generally minimal, again because the amount of ice they break is negligible compared to the total area of ice sheets. Taking polar bears as an example, they are good swimmers and will have no trouble getting across a canal cleared by an ice breaker. What threatens polar bears is the overall area of ice sheets shrinking significantly (as ice sheets are their hunting grounds) – not a few narrow gaps opening up occasionally.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The ice-breaking itself has almost no impact.

First, note that these ships only break sea ice – that is, ice that is floating in the water. When floating ice melts, this does not add any additional water volume to the ocean. So as far as melting ice goes, only meltwater from land ice contributes to sea level rise. So, even if breaking through ice causes it to melt a little faster, that has no effect on sea levels. Also, the amount of ice broken by these ships is really minimal. They’re not trying to break up entire ice sheets – they’re just clearing a path. So even if they do cause a bit of extra ice melt, it will be a tiny drop in a very large bucket.

Ecologically, the impact is also generally minimal, again because the amount of ice they break is negligible compared to the total area of ice sheets. Taking polar bears as an example, they are good swimmers and will have no trouble getting across a canal cleared by an ice breaker. What threatens polar bears is the overall area of ice sheets shrinking significantly (as ice sheets are their hunting grounds) – not a few narrow gaps opening up occasionally.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The ice-breaking itself has almost no impact.

First, note that these ships only break sea ice – that is, ice that is floating in the water. When floating ice melts, this does not add any additional water volume to the ocean. So as far as melting ice goes, only meltwater from land ice contributes to sea level rise. So, even if breaking through ice causes it to melt a little faster, that has no effect on sea levels. Also, the amount of ice broken by these ships is really minimal. They’re not trying to break up entire ice sheets – they’re just clearing a path. So even if they do cause a bit of extra ice melt, it will be a tiny drop in a very large bucket.

Ecologically, the impact is also generally minimal, again because the amount of ice they break is negligible compared to the total area of ice sheets. Taking polar bears as an example, they are good swimmers and will have no trouble getting across a canal cleared by an ice breaker. What threatens polar bears is the overall area of ice sheets shrinking significantly (as ice sheets are their hunting grounds) – not a few narrow gaps opening up occasionally.