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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Arctic ocean largely ice free in summer - 10-20 years...


Arctic ocean will be largely ice-free during summer within a decade or two...


Arctic Sea Ice, 2002-2003. Credit: NASA images by Jesse Allen, using data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). Caption by Michon Scott, with input from Ted Scambos, NSIDC.



New data, released today (Oct. 10) by the Catlin Arctic Survey and WWF, provides further evidence that the Arctic Ocean sea ice is thinning, supporting the emerging thinking that the Ocean will be largely ice-free during summer within a decade.

The Catlin Arctic Survey, completed earlier this year, provides the latest ice thickness record, drawn from the only survey capturing surface measurements conducted during winter and spring 2009.

The data, collected by manual drilling and observations on a 450-kilometre route across the northern part of the Beaufort Sea, suggests the survey area is comprised almost exclusively of first-year ice.

This is a significant finding because the region has traditionally contained older, thicker multi-year ice. The average thickness of the ice-floes measured 1.8 metres, a depth considered too thin to survive the next summer’s ice melt.

These findings have been analysed by the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, led by Professor Peter Wadhams, one of the world’s leading experts on sea ice cover in the North Pole region.

British polar scientist, Peter Wadhams, gives it a little longer - about 20 years - before global warming leaves the Arctic ice-free during summer, raising sea levels and harming wildlife such as seals and polar bears. But what can humankind do about it now?

Another story

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2 Comments:

At October 27, 2009 at 8:43 PM , Anonymous paper shredding said...

What can humankind do?

Save Trees. Shred paper, and recycle them into something reusable once again to write on.

 
At October 28, 2009 at 7:12 PM , Blogger Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

I agree. Recycling is important.

 

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