Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Arctic Sea Ice to be Gone During Summer 'By 2013'

Antartic (TGW) - The Arctic will be ice free in the summer by the year 2013, according to a well known U.S. scientist.

According to new models, the Arctic will be ice free in the summer in 5 to 6 years. Professor Wieslaw Maslowski, the head of an international team which included NASA, told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous models underestimated the processes now driving the ice loss.

The team of scientists is well known for producing model dates ahead of other scientists.

"Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007," Maslowski said. "So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative."

The team used data from 1970 to 2004 to make their predictions, which does not include data from 2007 and 2005, the years with the least and 2nd least respectively sea ice loss.

Previous conservative estimates put models predicting 50% of sea ice being gone by summer 2050. The majority of researchers are now predicting 50% of sea ice will be gone during the summer at a date earlier than that, but no where near Maslowski’s team’s predictions.

Maslowski argues mainstream models don’t take the way warm water is moved into the Arctic Basin from the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans into account.

"My claim is that the global climate models underestimate the amount of heat delivered to the sea ice by oceanic advection," Professor Maslowski said. "The reason is that their low spatial resolution actually limits them from seeing important detailed factors.

"We use a high-resolution regional model for the Arctic Ocean and sea ice forced with realistic atmospheric data. This way, we get much more realistic forcing, from above by the atmosphere and from the bottom by the ocean."

Other scientists held skepticism of Maslowski’s claims.

"In the end, it will just melt away quite suddenly. It might not be as early as 2013 but it will be soon, much earlier than 2040… My thinking on this is that 2030 is not an unreasonable date to be thinking of,” said Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.

Arctic sea ice hit a record low
August of this year.

Via :: BBC