Dramatic Thinning of Arctic Ice Found
CNN, Nov 17, 1999
Scientists analyzing decades of data from Arctic Sea ice recently reported a significant reduction in the thickness of the ice during the last decade. The scientists found a decrease in sea ice all across the Arctic Ocean and that corresponds to previously reported evidence that the Arctic climate is warming, according to Dr. D. Andrew Rothrock of the University of Washington and colleagues. A report on the data will be published in the December 1 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
Arctic Ice Thinning Threat to Rising Sea Levels
ITN, Nov 18, 1999
American scientists examining the ice which flows in the Arctic Ocean have come up with a worrying statistic. They say that in the last thirty years, the ice has become 40 percent thinner, and they suspect global warming is to blame. One British expert has told ITN's Science Editor Lawrence McGinty that ice measurements taken by British Nuclear Submarines confirm the American findings. Scientists have known for some time that the sea ice covering much of the Arctic is getting thinner.
But these new results show the rate of thinning is much, much greater than they thought: in the four decades since measurements began in 1958, the depth of sea ice has been reduced by 40 percent. The measurements were made with sonar equipment on American nuclear submarines on Cold War patrol under the Arctic ice. The threat to the Arctic is significant -parts of the Arctic ice sheet are thinning by four inches a year. Large areas off Canada have thinned by three feet and zones around the North Pole are up to five feet thinner. And two other areas have lost up to six feet in depth since 1958.
Warmer Weather Melts Ice at North Pole
Associated Press, August 20, 2000
For the first time in 50 million years, visitors to the North Pole can see something extraordinary: water. The thick ice that covers the Arctic Ocean at the North Pole has melted, leaving a mile-wide (1.6-kilometer-wide) stretch of water at the top of the world, The New York Times reported Saturday. Two recent visitors to the pole told the Times about the unexpected sight. "I don't know if anybody in history ever got to 90 degrees north to be greeted by water, not ice," said Malcolm C. McKenna, a paleontologist at the American Museum of Natural History. The water could be the result of global warming, although there is a debate among experts about the cause. Some believe it could simply be anatural occurrence rather than the result of a "greenhouse effect" caused by manmade pollution and increased concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Scientists have said that the last time the North Pole had this much water was 50 million years ago. For oceanographer James C. McCarthy, who visited the pole earlier this month on a tourist cruise, the disappearing ice was a cause for concern.Passengers aboard the cruise were shocked to find water when there has long been only ice.