Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Computers can't keep up with melting Arctic

Out of an exercise mapping real-world observations to computer climate models comes news that global warming is more accelerated than the scientific consensus holds.

Ted Scambos of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) at the University of Colorado co-authored the latest study of Arctic ice melt, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, with other scientists from NSIDC and from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), also in Boulder, Colorado.

This is the third piece of recent evidence that the IPCC forecasts err on the conservative side.
clipped from
Arctic melt faster than forecast
By Richard Black
Environment correspondent, BBC News website

Polar bear on ice. Image: SPL

Arctic summer ice has been shrinking by about 9% per decade
Arctic ice is melting faster than computer models of climate calculate, according to a group of US researchers.

Since 1979, the Arctic has been losing summer ice at about 9% per decade, but models on average produce a melting rate less than half that figure.

The scientists suggest forecasts from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) may be too cautious.

The latest observations indicate that Arctic summers could be ice-free by the middle of the century.

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