Accellerated melting in the Arctic

A new report from the Arctic Council research project, Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP), reveals that the ice in Greenland and the Arctic is melting more quickly than expected, and that this is likely to lead to a much greater rise in sea level than was assumed in the latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The AMAP report, which is a compilation of recent research in the field, was presented during a research conference in Copenhagen in early May.

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Ice is melting away in the Arctic basin, the Greenland Ice Sheet and Arctic glaciers. The reduction over the past ten years is dramatic and constitutes a clear divergence from long-term trends. Photo: Sebastian Gerland / Norwegian Polar Institute

– The overall impression is that of a rapidly changing Arctic. Many things are happening much more quickly than we expected just ten years ago. There is more precipitation in the form of rain and snow, it is getting warmer, and this pattern is stronger than ever, says Kim Holmén, research director at the Norwegian Polar Institute to Aftenposten (article in Norwegian).

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