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Poles Warming And Melting Faster


by Alan Harten
February 26, 2009
Environment

The icecaps at both poles are melting faster than previously believed, an important survey reports.

It found that Arctic sea ice is shrinking and the thaw in Greenland’s ice is speeding up.

The Antarctic warming is over a greater area than previously believed according to the State of Polar Research report, written by scientists for the International Polar Year (IPY) analysis.

This adds to changes in climate and sea levels and affects marine and plant life and sea birds as well as the occupations of human beings.

The World Meteorological Organisation and the International Council for Science said the survey, made by 10,000 scientists over two years, exposed new proof that the seas around the Antarctic heated faster than the world average.

They believe that temperature changes in deep water prove that the ice layer on land is also thawing more quickly than forecast.

IPY missions found a previously unknown level of sea-ice movement at the North Pole area.

Because of climate change, the vegetation in the Arctic has changed, influencing hunting and herbivores.

More indications of climate change come from IPY research ships that have found higher than average warming in the seas around Antarctica.

Cooler water at the bottom of the sea around Antarctica is in harmony with greater melting and may change water circulation, showing that new and previously unknown patterns are emerging in Antarctica.

The 2007-2008 IPY comes at a critical moment for the world, said Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organisation, and will help scientists decide on the best course of action in the future.

Scientists discovered, using satellites, that in the Arctic summer, during 2007 and 2008, sea ice fell to its lowest level since records were first kept 30 years ago, the report says


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