Arctic summer sea ice may disappear in 5 years 2007-12-12 09:14:04   Print

    BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhuanet) -- The melting of the Arctic is accelerating and scientists estimate that the summer sea ice would disappear in five years, media reported Wednesday referring to new NASA satellite data.

    Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.

    This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."

    "The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming," said Zwally. "Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines."

    It is the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels that produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases responsible for man-made global warming.

    For the past several days, government diplomats have been debating in Bali, Indonesia, the outlines of a new climate treaty calling for tougher limits on these gases.


Editor: Song Shutao
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