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Published: Friday 27 September, 2013

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The findings emphasize the need for greater urgency in combatting global warming, says the report of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program. AMAP is the scientific arm of the eightnation Arctic Council.The warning of much higher seas comes as the worlds nations remain bogged down in talks, which have gone on for 20 years, about reducing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases blamed for global warming.Rising sea levels are expected to cause some of global warmings worst damage from putting small islands underwater, to inundating coastlines and to possible flooding of New York Citys subways. Oceans will not rise uniformly worldwide, because of currents, winds and other factors, but such lowlying areas as Bangladesh and Florida will likely be hardhit. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and foreign ministers of the oth wedge trainers shoes er seven member nat wedge trainers shoes ions at an Arctic Council meeting next week in Greenland. It will first be discussed by some 400 international scientists at a conference this week in Copenhagen, Denmark.Drawing on improved research techniques and recent scientific papers, the AMAP report updates forecasts made by the UNs expert panel on climate change in its last major assessment in 2007.The melting of Arctic glaciers and ice caps, including Greenlands massive ice sheet, is projected to help raise global sea levels by 90 to 160 centimetres by 2100, AMAP said, although it noted that estimate was highly uncertain.Thats up from the UN panels 2007 projection of 19 to 59 centimetres. The UN group had left out the possible acceleration of melting in Greenland and Antarctica, saying research on that hadnt advanced sufficiently by the mid2000s. The UN estimate was based largely on the expansion of ocean waters from warming and the runoff from melting land glaciers elsewhere in the world.Now the AMAP assessment finds that Greenland was losing ice in the period from 2004 to 2009 at a rate four times faster than from 1995 to 2000.In addition, the cover of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean is shrinking faster than the UN panel projected, threatening the longterm survival of polar bears and other icedependent species. Summer ice coverage has been at or near record lows every year since 2001, said AMAP, predicting the ocean will be almost icefree in the summer 30 to 40 years from now.Arctic temperatures in the past six years were the highest since measurements began in 1880, and feedback mechanisms are believed to be speeding up warming in the Far North.One such mechanism involves the ocean absorbing more heat when its not covered by ice, because ice reflects the suns energy. That effect has been anticipated by scientists, but clear evidence for it has only been observed in the Arctic in the past five years, AMAP said.It projected that average fall and winter temperatures in the Arctic will climb by about three to six degrees Celsius by 2080, even if greenhouse gas emissions are lower than in the past decade.The observed changes in sea ice on the Arctic Ocean, in the mass of the Greenland ice sheet and Arctic ice caps and glaciers over the past 10 years are dramatic and represent an obvious departure from the longterm patterns, AMAP said.A leading American ice specialist, Richard Alley of Pennsylvania State University, who did not take part in the AMAP assessment, agreed that recent scientific estimates generally support the panels central finding.A sea level rise of more than one metre this century fits well within these estimates, and a somewhat higher value cannot be excluded, Alley said.Scientists have steadily improved ways of measuring the loss of ice into the oceans. and European scientists used two independent methods to corroborate their findings: ontheground measurement of ice thickness and movements using GPS stations and other tools; and measurement of ice mass through gravity readings from satellites.Led by Eric Rignot of NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, they calculated that the accelerating melt of the vast Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets would contribute to an overall sealevel rise of about 33 centimetres by 2050. They didnt project sea levels to 2100 because of longrange uncertainties, but their work, like AMAPs, significantly updates wedge trainers shoes previous projections.The AMAP report said melting glaciers and ice sheets worldwide have become the biggest contributor to rising sea levels. Greenlands ice sheet alone accounted for more than 40 per cent of the three millimetres of sealevel rise observed annually between 2003 and 2008, AMAP said.Im not sure what is more alarming, the glacial pace of Congress to reduce carbon pollution or the astounding rate of melting Arctic ice, Lou Leonard, climate chief at the World Wildlife Fund, said of the new report. wedge trainers shoes

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