Sunday, April 05, 2009

Study finds ice-free Arctic possible within 30 years

The following was reported by The Tech Herald

A joint study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the University of Washington has made the dire warning that the world could experience an ice-free Arctic during summer in as little as thirty years.

The study, published Friday in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, comes ahead of a summit in Washington involving 47 countries to discuss the state of the North and South poles.

“The Arctic is changing faster than anticipated,” said James Overland, a NOAA oceanographer who co-authored the report. “It’s a combination of natural variability, along with warmer air and sea conditions caused by increased greenhouse gases.”

Overland and Muyin Wang, a University of Washington research scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle,"...analysed projections from six computer models, including three with sophisticated sea ice physics capabilities. That data was then combined with observations of summer sea ice loss in 2007 and 2008," according to a NOAA statement.

The report found that the area currently covered by ice is expected to reduce in size from its current 4.6 million square kilometres (about 1.8 million square miles) to about 1 million square kilometres (about 390,000 square miles) – a loss approximately two-fifths the size of the continental U.S., said the statement.

“The Arctic is often called the ‘Earth’s refrigerator’ because the sea ice helps cool the planet by reflecting the sun’s radiation back into space,” said Wang. “With less ice, the sun’s warmth is instead absorbed by the open water, contributing to warmer temperatures in the water and the air.”

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will host the poles summit beginning Monday.

You can read the original report at this link: ICE

Here is the link to the official National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration report: Information

Additional information:

Finding The North Pole On Thin Ice

The mission: Travel more than 600 miles across the Arctic Ocean, in temperatures down to 40 degrees below zero.

It's the Catlin Arctic Survey, a British expedition to the North Pole. Its goal is to collect data to help scientists determine how fast the sea ice is disappearing.

We're skating on very thin ice
ICE could disappear from the Arctic summer within 30 years because of global warming, a US study has found.

As world governments prepare for a summit on the North and South poles that opens tomorrow, research by the University of Washington and the US Government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has delivered dire forecasts for the Arctic.

If you are looking to do more research on this topic, let me suggest the following books: Climate

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> posted by Trevor Hammack @ 9:08 PM   0 comments links to this post


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