Monday, September 15, 2008

Faster Than Thought
Arctic melting is moving right along.
But the minimum amount of ice at summer's end this year will be near last year's total. In 2007, the extent of Arctic ice was 23 percent lower than the previous record in 2005. That 2007 total, which set a record, was 1.65 million square miles. As of Monday, satellite observations showed 1.78 million square miles.[...]
The cause of the ice loss is a combination of global warming from an increase of greenhouse gases and natural variations — winds that brought warm temperatures and blew ice to the Atlantic side, Overland said. If the cause was global warming alone, most scientists thought they wouldn't see this kind of ice loss for 30 years, he said.[...]
Two years ago, scientists didn't foresee major sea ice loss until 2050, but because of a combination of factors, "we're on a fast track," Overland said.

No comments: