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I’m not one of the resident global warming experts, or even amatures, on the blogs, and one of them should be writing this diary — but this story in the UK Independent calls for a diary.
Polar scientists reveal dramatic new evidence of climate change
By Steve Connor, Science Editor
Friday, 27 June 2008
It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year.
The disappearance of the Arctic sea ice, making it possible to reach the Pole sailing in a boat through open water, would be one of the most dramatic – and worrying – examples of the impact of global warming on the planet. Scientists say the ice at 90 degrees north may well have melted away by the summer.
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Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally icefreeNorth Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by hugeswathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.
This one-year ice is highly vulnerable to melting during thesummer months and satellite data coming in over recent weeksshows that the rate of melting is faster than last year, when therewas an all-time record loss of summer sea ice at the Arctic.
“The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the NorthPole is covered with extensive first-year ice – ice that formed last autumn and winter. I’d say it’s even-odds whether the North Pole melts out,” said Dr Serreze.
Last summer, the ice melted to within 700 miles of the pole. In previous times,thick ice that had accumulated over years covered the North Pole. But now, the ice there is all “one year” ice and much thinner and more vulnerable to melting, according to the article.