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Arctic ice melting at ‘amazing’ speed, scientists find

September 13, 2012

Full Article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19508906

By David Shukman

Scientists in the Arctic are warning that this summer’s record-breaking melt is part of an accelerating trend with profound implications.

Norwegian researchers report that the sea ice is becoming significantly thinner and more vulnerable.

Last month, the annual thaw of the region’s floating ice reached the lowest level since satellite monitoring began, more than 30 years ago.

It is thought the scale of the decline may even affect Europe’s weather.

The melt is set to continue for at least another week – the peak is usually reached in mid-September – while temperatures here remain above freezing.

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Early research investigating the implications suggests that a massive reduction in sea ice is likely to have an impact on the path of the jet stream, the high-altitude wind that guides weather systems, including storms.

The course and speed of the jet stream is governed by the difference in temperature between the Tropics and the Arctic, so a change on the scale being observed now could be felt across Europe and beyond.

Full Article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-19508906

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