Arctic sea ice may be at 'tipping point'

Sep 16, 2005

Arctic ice melting may have accelerated to a "tipping point" that will produce a vicious cycle of melting and heating, U.S. scientists say.

Another record loss of sea ice in the Arctic this summer is expected by Arctic specialists at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at Colorado University, who have been studying polar sea ice since 1978, the Independent reported Friday.

Scientists fear that the Arctic has now entered an irreversible phase of warming that will further accelerate the loss of the polar sea ice creating a rise in ocean levels.

In the past, polar ice would melt in the summer and refreeze in the winter, however, for the fourth year in a row the sea ice in August has fallen below the monthly downward trend -- indicating the melting has accelerated.

"This will be four Septembers in a row that we've seen a downward trend," said Mark Serreze, a scientist at the Snow and Ice Data Center. "The feeling is we are reaching a tipping point or threshold beyond which sea ice will not recover."

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Ceres bright spots sharpen but questions remain

20 hours ago

The latest views of Ceres' enigmatic white spots are sharper and clearer, but it's obvious that Dawn will have to descend much lower before we'll see crucial details hidden in this overexposed splatter of ...

What are extrasolar planets?

20 hours ago

For countless generations, human beings have looked out at the night sky and wondered if they were alone in the universe. With the discovery of other planets in our solar system, the true extent of the Milky ...

Rosetta's view of a comet's "great divide"

20 hours ago

The latest image to be revealed of comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko comes from October 27, 2014, before the Philae lander even departed for its surface. Above we get a view of a dramatically-shadowed cliff ...

How long will our spacecraft survive?

20 hours ago

There are many hazards out there, eager to disrupt and dismantle the mighty machines we send out into space. How long can they survive to perform their important missions?

Why roundworms are ideal for space studies

21 hours ago

Humans have long been fascinated by the cosmos. Ancient cave paintings show that we've been thinking about space for much of the history of our species. The popularity of recent sci-fi movies suggest that ...

A curious family of giant exoplanets

21 hours ago

There are 565 exoplanets currently known that are as massive as Jupiter or bigger, about one third of the total known, confirmed exoplanet population. About one quarter of the massive population orbits very ...

User comments : 1

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
not rated yet Jul 15, 2009
And the sky continues to fall.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.