Saturday, December 15, 2007

Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'

By Jonathan Amos Science reporter, BBC News, San Francisco

Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice.

Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years. Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.

Summer melting this year reduced the ice cover to 4.13 million sq km, the smallest ever extent in modern times.

Remarkably, this stunning low point was not even incorporated into the model runs of Professor Maslowski and his team, which used data sets from 1979 to 2004 to constrain their future projections.

"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," the researcher from the Naval Postgraduate School, Monterey, California, explained to the BBC.

"So given that fact, you can argue that maybe our projection of 2013 is already too conservative." (read more: Artic Summers..)

My Commentary
Strike up the band for Nearer my God to Thee. We may be a lot closer to the point of no return on global warming than we thought; and the global warming deniers, keep denying and the light bulb changers, keep changing light bulbs.

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