No arctic summer ice by 2013?

Gareth Renowden on Hot Topic writes about the news that the North Pole ice is melting at an unprecedented rate and by 2013 the Arctic could be ice-free in summer.

As regular readers of Renowden’s excellent blog will know, the Arctic ice is of particular interest because (1) it’s going to be one of the first major effects of climate change, and (2) there’s a lot of it.

This summer could see less ice in the Arctic than ever before. However:

“‘It does not really matter whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for Arctic ice,’ [US Navy researcher] Maslowski said. ‘The crucial point is that ice is clearly not building up enough over winter to restore cover and that when you combine current estimates of ice thickness with the extent of the ice cap, you get a very clear indication that the Arctic is going to be ice-free in summer in five years. And when that happens, there will be consequences.'”

“Major meteorological, environmental and ecological implications.”

For more background on the arctic ice story, read Gareth’s earlier posts here and here. Lots of good links. Renowden has a bet about the amount of arctic sea ice this summer with William “Stoat” Connelley, but it’s one of those bets that you’d want to lose. Sadly for us, it’s looking like he might win it.

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One Response to “No arctic summer ice by 2013?”

  1. Gareth Says:

    I wouldn’t be sure about my winning the bet… We’re still a long way behind the same time last year, and though the melt is now very rapid, I’d guess I’m still more likely to lose than win. But the longer term – over several years – picture is pretty much as the Observer article suggests.

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