Cambridge University : Arctic Doomed

By Joe Romm on May 13, 2009

Peter Wadhams, head of the polar ocean physics group at the University of Cambridge, “believes the ice, which has been a permanent feature for at least 100,000 years, is now so thin that almost all of it will disappear in about a decade“:

By 2013, we will see a much smaller area in summertime than now; and certainly by about 2020, I can imagine that only one area will remain in summer.” Although this bleak forecast is reinforced by the survey team’s data, Professor Wadham’s new assessment is based on analysis of nearly 40 years of sonar data gathered on Royal Navy submarines patrolling beneath the ice – the first, HMS Dreadnought, was in 1971…. Now Professor Wadhams, who has studied the Arctic for the past 40 years, says that there is “almost a breakdown” in the ice-cover…. Much of what is left of this ice accumulates in an area north of Greenland and Ellesmere Island in Canada, and may form what he calls “a last holdout, a kind of Alamo”.

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4 Responses to Cambridge University : Arctic Doomed

  1. Andy DC says:

    The huge area north of Barrow looks safe for now.

  2. Shooter says:

    “A permanent feature” – Umm. Has Romm ever looked at data from the ’50’s? It was ice free during that time.

    • mikegeo says:

      Yeah that comment seemed rather bizarre to me too. There’s been ice there off and on for several million years, but there have been some “ice free” summers within the last 10,000 years. So in reality, there’s absolutely nothing “permanent” about any of it.

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