The Arctic ice is melting faster than we feared

June 30, 2011

For years now we have been hearing that the Arctic is melting faster than even the most pessimistic scientists had predicted. A 2007 study by the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado concluded that sea ice retreat was then 30 years ahead of where scientists thought it would be. In early 2010 a Circumpolar Flaw Lead study, the largest climate-study ever undertaken in Canada, stated this unequivocally. The report links this dramatic melt to human impact on the climate, and suggests that resulting climate variability is also responsible for our warm spells getting warmer and our cold spells getting colder.

This year a group of Canadian scientists, surprised by the rate of this melt, began looking into specifics. The results of their study point to higher salt-levels in the melting ice, causing the melted ice to sink and warmer water to rise, further increasing melting rates. This rate, like many of our climate change indicators, will continue to increase exponentially until the impact of human activity changes course.