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Posted Thu Oct 15 2009: from
Arctic will be ice-free in a decade, according to Pen Hadow
The explorer trekked more than 269 miles towards the North Pole this winter in temperatures below -40 degrees C to measure the depth of the ice. The average thickness of ice floes was 1.8 metres, suggesting the ice sheet is now largely made up of first year ice rather than "multiyear" ice that will have built up over time.... An analysis by Cambridge University has concluded that the Arctic is now melting at such a rate that it will be largely ice free within ten years, allowing ships to cross the Arctic Ocean. Further analysis by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) warned that the "irreversible trend" will cause dangerous feedback because water absorbs more heat from the sun than ice, therefore further speeding up the global warming process. The melting of the ice could also trigger extreme weather patterns as the ocean currents change and release even more greenhouse gases stored under the ice.
[Read more stories about: albedo effect, arctic meltdown, holyshit, death spiral, methane release]
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