02 Sep 2009:
Summer Sea Ice in Arctic
Could Disappear by 2016, Scientists Say
Summer sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean could disappear by 2016 and the thawing of the Greenland ice sheet is occurring so rapidly that the meltwater from Greenland alone could raise sea levels by one
meter this century. Meeting in Greenland, scientists from the Danish Meteorological Institute, the Greenland Climate Center, and other organizations said that the thickness and volume of Arctic ice is decreasing at an even more rapid rate than the precipitous decline in ice extent; Arctic Ocean winter ice thinned by 2.2 feet from 2004 to 2008. As a result, the Danish researchers said it is quite likely that much of the Arctic ocean could be ice-free in summer by 2016. In addition, the scientists said that the Greenland ice sheet has been losing mass at a rate of 240 cubic kilometers (58 cubic miles) of ice per year in the last five years, with the loss accelerating in the past two years. Up until now, the loss of mass of the Greenland ice sheet has been concentrated in the southern part of the country, but the melting and ice loss is spreading north, the scientists reported.
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