IPCC REPORT PREDICTS END OF ARCTIC SUMMER SEA ICE BY 2050 - SOME PREDICT MUCH EARLIER

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19 september 2013

Arctic sea ice melting faster than expected, UN report finds

By Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent, Financial Times, September 19, 2013

The Arctic’s summer sea ice is set to nearly vanish in less than 40 years, according to the final draft of a sweeping UN climate change report that sharply revises past estimates of how fast the icy north is melting.

“A nearly ice-free Arctic Ocean in September before mid-century is likely,” says the draft seen by the Financial Times of the first large-scale study in six years by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The retreating ice is encouraging for Arctic nations such as Russia, which is trying to boost shipping traffic along its icy Northern Sea Route.

But it is worrying for scientists because of what was described in a recent study as an “economic time bomb” that could explode if the melting Arctic permafrost releases vast plumes of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and drives significant climate change.

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