Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Regional troops gather at Gambian border amid political standoff

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Online reactions to former French PM Valls being slapped in face

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Davos 2017: 'Donald Trump could be the entrepreneurs' entrepreneur'

Read more

THE DEBATE

Hard Brexit, here we come: The blowback against globalisation (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Hard Brexit, here we come: UK to leave EU common market (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Pardon my whistleblower: Obama commutes Chelsea Manning sentence (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Pardon my whistleblower: Obama, security and surveillance (part 2)

Read more

Arctic may be ice-free in 30 years, says study

Latest update : 2009-04-03

According to a new study on the impact of global warning, some 80 percent of Arctic ice may disappear in 30 years, not 90 as scientists had previously estimated. Models produced pointed to a "nearly ice-free Arctic" in just 32 years.

Reuters - Some 80 percent of Arctic ice may disappear in 30 years, not 90 as scientists had previously estimated, according to a new study on the impact of global warming.
   
"The amount of the Arctic Ocean covered by ice at the end of summer by then could be only about 1 million square kilometers, or about 620,000 square miles," said US researchers who authored the study published Thursday.
   
"That's compared to today's ice extent of 4.6 million square kilometers, or 2.8 million square miles," they added, warning the development "raises the question of ecosystem upheaval."
   
The scientists made their projections based on models that took accounted for changes in Arctic ice, which saw "dramatic declines" at the end of summer in 2007 and 2008, when the ice surface dropped to 4.3 and 4.6 million square kilometers (1.7 and 1.8 million square miles), respectively.
   
The models pointed to a "nearly ice-free" Arctic in just 32 years, with some of the models making the same prediction for 11 years from now.
   
"In recent years, the combination of unusual warm temperatures from natural causes and the global warming signal have worked together to provide an earlier summer sea-ice loss than was predicted," said James Overland of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
   
Overland and co-author Muyin Wang of the University of Washington said earlier models had predicted the event would not take place before the end of the 21st century.
   
Maps illustrating Overland and Wang's models showed a nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean, although some ice would remain along northern Canada and Greenland, where powerful winds make for very thick layers of ice.
   
The researchers noted one benefit of less ice in the Arctic: "a boon for shipping and for extracting minerals and oil from the seabed." 

Date created : 2009-04-03

COMMENT(S)