Arctic sea ice loss accelerating

According to researchers from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) Arctic ice is diminishing far faster than estimations by previous computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) when preparing their assessments earlier this year.

The researchers believe that the loss of ice during the summer months is approximately thirty years ahead of the climate model projections and summer Arctic sea ice could totally disappear much earlier than the IPCC anticipates.

The researchers believe that previous computer models may not have accommodated for the full impact of boosted carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. Also, as the ice is receding, it’s created larger expanses of open water that absorb heat, whereas when covered with ice, the area reflects sunlight. This scenario creates a feedback loop further increasing the rate at which the ice melts.

The loss of ice has accelerated to –9.1% each decade from 1979 to 2006, according to observations gained through satellite data.

Read more of the press release: Models Underestimate Loss of Arctic Sea Ice