Under a more optimistic scenario for the state of the climate, the section of the Arctic could retain some of its summer ice indefinitely.
In both cases, however, the ice cover is expected to become worryingly thin by the year 2050.
Robert Newton, study co-author and senior research scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, said: “Unfortunately, this is a massive experiment we’re doing.
“If the year-round ice goes away, entire ice-dependant ecosystems will collapse, and something new will begin.”
In the winter, most of the Arctic Ocean’s surface freezes over and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.