Arctic global warming may be irreversible

Melting Arctic sea ice

Scientists, noting sea ice in the Arctic has failed to form for the second consecutive winter, fear global warming may be irreversible in polar areas.

Since the Arctic region shows signs of both winter and summer ice melting, scientists fear an environmental "positive feedback" has started, in which global warming melts ice that causes the seas to warm further since more sunlight is absorbed by a dark ocean rather than being reflected by white ice, The Independent reported Tuesday.

Mark Serreze, a sea ice specialist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado, said the Arctic sea ice cover as of September was at its lowest extent since satellite monitoring began in 1979, and probably the lowest in 100 years.

Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University told the Independent: "One of the big changes this winter is that a large area of the Barents Sea has remained ice-free for the first time. Climate models did predict a retreat of sea ice in the Barents Sea, but not for a few decades yet, so it is a sign that the changes that were predicted are indeed happening -- but much faster than predicted."

Copyright 2006 by United Press International


Explore further

Methane not released by wind on Mars, experts find

Citation: Arctic global warming may be irreversible (2006, March 14) retrieved 23 September 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-03-arctic-global-irreversible.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
0 shares

Feedback to editors

User comments

Jul 03, 2009
DPS(Dieing Planet Symptom)

Jul 09, 2009
No Prof. Wadhams, when a "climate model" fails to predict what actually accurs, the model is wrong. We don't say "The model is right, so the real world must have something wrong with it."

In every other branch of real science, when a theory fails to accurate describe what is observed in testing, the theory is regarded as wrong. Scientists don't continue asserting those theories as facts and publish them. At least, that's how real science works. Climatology apparantly has discovered an entirely new interpretation of the scientific method. Perhaps we can legislate realities to match your computer models.

Warming is real, because WE SAY SO. Just don't ask us why, or how to demonstrate our models, because we can't.

Balderdash and horse-piles.

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