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: Water fleas prepared for trip to space

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

CryoSat extends its reach on the Arctic

Dec 15, 2014

CryoSat has delivered this year's map of autumn sea-ice thickness in the Arctic, revealing a small decrease in ice volume. In a new phase for ESA's ice mission, the measurements can now also be used to help ...

The Greenland Ice Sheet: Now in HD

Dec 18, 2014

The Greenland Ice Sheet is ready for its close-up. The highest-resolution satellite images ever taken of that region are making their debut. And while each individual pixel represents only one moment in time, ...

Recommended for you

Water fleas prepared for trip to space

2 hours ago

Local 'Daphnia' waterfleas are currently being prepared by scientists at the University of Birmingham for their trip to the International Space Station (ISS), where they will be observed by astronauts.

The worst trip around the world

3 hours ago

As you celebrate the end of the year in the warmth of your home, spare a thought for the organisms riding with a third-class ticket on the International Space Station – bolted to the outside with no protection ...

Image: Multicoloured view of supernova remnant

3 hours ago

Most celestial events unfold over thousands of years or more, making it impossible to follow their evolution on human timescales. Supernovas are notable exceptions, the powerful stellar explosions that make ...

Ultra-luminous X-ray sources in starburst galaxies

3 hours ago

Ultra-luminous X-ray sources (ULXs) are point sources in the sky that are so bright in X-rays that each emits more radiation than a million suns emit at all wavelengths. ULXs are rare. Most galaxies (including ...

When a bright light fades

3 hours ago

Astronomer Charles Telesco is primarily interested in the creation of planets and stars. So, when the University of Florida's giant telescope was pointed at a star undergoing a magnificent and explosive death, ...

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.