Warning over melting Arctic ice

Wed, Aug 22, 2012, 01:00

Sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is likely to shrink to a record small size some time next week, and then keep on melting, a scientist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder has said.

“A new daily record . . . would be likely by the end of August,” said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the data centre, which monitors ice in the Arctic and elsewhere.

“Chances are it will cross the previous record while we’re still in sea ice retreat.”

The amount of sea ice in the Arctic is important because this region is a potent global weather-maker, sometimes characterised as the world’s air conditioner. This year the loss of sea ice has suggested a possible opening of the North- West Passage north of Canada and Alaska and the Northern Sea Route by Europe and Siberia. – (Reuters)