Monday, 15 August 2011

MIT says: "UN climate report fails to capture trends in Arctic sea"

(Photo: REUTERS/Svebor Kranjc)
An iceberg floats in the sea ice near the town of Uummannaq in western Greenland March 18, 2010.
The United Nations' most recent global climate report "fails to capture trends in Arctic sea-ice thinning and drift, and in some cases substantially underestimates these trends," says a new research from MIT.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report, released in 2007, forecasts an ice-free Arctic summer by the year 2100.

However, the Arctic sea ice may be thinning four times faster than predicted, according to Pierre Rampal and his research team of MIT'S Department of Earth, Atmosphere, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS).

The research team's findings will be published in the Journal of Geophysical Research-Oceans.

After comparing IPCC models with actual data, Rampal and his collaborators concluded that the forecasts were significantly off. IPCC models focused on changes in temperature, which are one way to lose or gain ice. However, Rampal said that the report underestimates mechanical forces that contributed to ice-melting.

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