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Posted Tue Feb 9 2010: from London Financial Times:
Melting ice alters way of life in Iqaluit
...The polar ice helps keep the earth cool, as snow and ice reflect sunlight while the permafrost traps methane, a potent greenhouse gas. But a new report published by the Pew Environment Group says that global warming is altering the Arctic ecosystem in a way never seen before by humans. It predicts that the Arctic, which has had sea ice for more than 800,000 years, might lose summer sea ice as soon as 2030 and estimates that the melting Arctic will lead to a 3-to-6 deg C increase in the earth's temperature over the next century. During the Ice Age, the earth's temperature changed by 4.5 deg C... "The Arctic is the planet's air conditioner, and it's starting to break down," says Eban Goodstein, a resource economist at Bard College in New York and one of the authors of the study. "Half measures to stop global warming are unlikely to succeed, and delaying action will mean future environmental costs could be overwhelmed by the massive pulse of heating from a broken air conditioner," he says.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, anthropogenic change, global warming, feedback loop, faster than expected, holyshit]
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