Ice-free arctic summers likely sooner than expected
(NC&T/NOAA) "The Arctic is changing faster than anticipated," said James Overland, an oceanographer at NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory and co-author of the study, which will appear April 3 in Geophysical Research Letters. "It's a combination of natural variability, along with warmer air and sea conditions caused by increased greenhouse gases."
Overland and his co-author, Muyin Wang, a University of Washington research scientist with the Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean in Seattle, analyzed projections from six computer models, including three with sophisticated sea ice physics capabilities. That data was then combined with observations of summer sea ice loss in 2007 and 2008.
The area covered by summer sea ice is expected to decline from its current 4.6 million square kilometers (about 2.8 million square miles) to about 1 million square kilometers (about 620,000 square miles) - a loss approximately four-fifths the size of the continental U.S. Much of the sea ice would remain in the area north of Canada and Greenland and decrease between Alaska and Russia in the Pacific Arctic.
|Mean sea ice thickness in meters for March (University of Washington/NOAA)|
NOAA understands and predicts changes in the Earth's environment, from the depths of the ocean to the surface of the sun, and conserves and manages our coastal and marine resources.
This site is no longer updated.
Click this link to have updated ecology news and articles.
About the Author
©TheAllINeed.com All rights reserved