Wednesday, August 13, 2008


The Arctic sea ice is unlikely to recover from last year's record low,
according to latest figures from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre.

This year's Arctic melt is already showing sea ice to be well below
average as the summer meltdown peaks.

The extent of the current year's ice melt will not be known until
mid-September. "A race has developed between the waning sunlight and
the weakened ice," the US Snow and Ice Data Centre's July report stated.

Many climate scientists now believe that over the next five years the
Arctic will be completely ice-free in the summer.

The Arctic meltdown is so unusual that the US Army's Cold Regions
Research and Engineering Laboratory released a statement citing
historical evidence that shows there has been summer ice in the Arctic
for at least 16 million years.

The Arctic region is warming twice as fast elsewhere on the planet and
the more the ice melts the more the Arctic absorbs sunlight that adds
another spur to global warming.

A Daily Planet Media survey of scientific opinion found there was no
certainty of what the absence of Arctic sea ice would have on the
planet, but many climate scientists on the UN International Panel of
Climate Change forecast more extreme storms, floods and droughts.

What concerns Arctic ice specialist Erin Clark is that the ice at the
entrance of the Northwest Passage this July was mostly young ice
frozen over from last year and prone to much fast melting.

Last year's record melt was a combination of unseasonal weather
patterns and rising temperatures attributed to human-made global warming.

The International Arctic Research Centre in Fairbanks, Alaska, claims
that unpredictable natural cycles and global warming caused by burning
fossil fuels are crucial to understanding the reasons for the
unprecedented Arctic sea ice melt.

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