Warming Climate Diminishes Arctic Ice; Largest Break Away Since 2005

NWF   |   August 5, 2008

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Giant sheets of ice spreading across more than seven square
miles broke off a Canadian Artic ice shelf, scientists
said.
The current Arctic climate isn’t rebuilding ice sheets as they
break away or melt because the climate balance is gone.

"We’re in a different climate now," Derek Mueller, a researcher at Ontario’s Trent University
said.
"It’s not conducive to regrowing (ice sheets)."

"It’s a bit of a wake-up call for those people who
aren’t yet affected by climate change that there
are places on earth that are
, and the same could be true for them (these
people) if you fast-forward a decade or two or three," Mueller said.

Mueller said the large ice sheet broke away last week from
the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf off the coast of Canada’s far north. The sheet is
the biggest piece discarded by one of Canada’s six ice shelves since the Ayles
shelf—which
measured 25 square miles
—broke loose in 2005, about 500 miles from the
North Pole.

"(This event) underscores the fact that each year we’re now crossing new
thresholds in environmental change in the High Arctic, and of course our
concern in the longer term is that these may signal the onset of serious change
at all latitudes, much further to the south, for example," said Warwick
Vincent, director of the Centre for Northern Studies at Laval University in
Quebec.

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