Arctic summer ice could vanish within decades


A pioneering expedition to the north pole has confirmed that Arctic ice is thinner than expected, highlighting fears that the region could be free of ice in the summertime within a few decades.

The Catlin Arctic Survey, led by polar explorer Pen Hadow, found that the area covered by their survey was covered almost entirely by ice less than one year old. The region, in the northern part of the Beaufort sea, used to contain older, thicker ice that formed over several years, and is more resistant to summertime melting.

The survey, carried out earlier this year to increase understanding of the impact of climate change in the Arctic, was beset with technical difficulties and ended with the three explorers being plucked from the ice 300 miles short of the pole, their original destination.

Peter Wadhams of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, who analysed the team’s findings, said: “With a larger part of the region now first year ice, it is clearly more vulnerable. The area is now more likely to become open water each summer, bringing forward the potential date when the summer ice will be completely gone…”

Wadhams said the results agreed with other studies of the region, but that the thinning could not simply be blamed on global warming. Recent changes in wind patterns in the Arctic have also contributed, he said, because it has redirected much of the floating ice.

Scientists continue to evaluate more and better data as acquired. Skeptics condemn a whole realm of investigation because the answers disagree with their belief system.

2 thoughts on “Arctic summer ice could vanish within decades

  1. Mr. Fusion says:

    I am really so tired of arguing with Neanderthals that stick to the oil company’s bullshit.

    It is not just the increased use of fossil fuels, it is the destruction of the rain forests of the world that help(ed) remove CO2 from the atmosphere. All for another Quarter Pounder.

    • eideard says:

      Just to underline your sentiments, I joined the ecology movement at the first Earth Day – tired of the pollution I witnessed growing, year by year, all my life.

      Watching the fishing disappear from New England coastal cities as the waters were poisoned. Working in a factory in a pleasant little town until I discovered they were dumping PCB-laden sludge in the marsh behind the plant. And on and on.

      Profit – supplanted by greed and despotism at any cost – is not how to run a healthy economy.

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