Past evidence supports complete loss of Arctic sea ice by 2035, say researchers

Still waiting

Climate modellers have a fairly dismal record in trying to predict sea ice patterns in the Arctic, always erring on the side of too much warming. Will this research do anything to improve matters? They seem to be using Earth’s past climate as a guide, while asserting that human-caused carbon dioxide is the main problem today.
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A new study, published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change, supports predictions that the Arctic could be free of sea ice by 2035,
reports Phys.org.

High temperatures in the Arctic during the last interglacial—the warm period around 127,000 years ago—have puzzled scientists for decades.

Now the UK Met Office’s Hadley Centre climate model has enabled an international team of researchers to compare Arctic sea ice conditions during the last interglacial with present day.

Their findings are important for improving predictions of future sea ice change.

During spring and early summer, shallow pools of water form on the surface of Arctic sea-ice. These ‘melt ponds’ are important for how much sunlight is absorbed by the ice and how much is reflected back into space. The new Hadley Centre model is the UK’s most advanced physical representation of the Earth’s climate and a critical tool for climate research and incorporates sea-ice and melt ponds.

Using the model to look at Arctic sea ice during the last interglacial, the team concludes that the impact of intense springtime sunshine created many melt ponds, which played a crucial role in sea-ice melt. A simulation of the future using the same model indicates that the Arctic may become sea ice-free by 2035.

Joint lead author Dr. Maria Vittoria Guarino, Earth System Modeller at British Antarctic Survey (BAS), says, “High temperatures in the Arctic have puzzled scientists for decades. Unraveling this mystery was technically and scientifically challenging. For the first time, we can begin to see how the Arctic became sea ice-free during the last interglacial. The advances made in climate modeling means that we can create a more accurate simulation of the Earth’s past climate, which, in turn gives us greater confidence in model predictions for the future.”

Full report here.

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August 11, 2020 at 06:33AM

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