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Arctic Ice Predicted to Be Gone in Less Than 20 Years Per NOAA Study

A report on Arctic Ice published via NOAA in the online journal Geophysical Research Letters has predicted it will be entirely gone in less than twenty years. The study, led by James Overland, an oceanographer for NOAA, and Muyin Wang, a meteorologist for the University of Washington, utilized computer simulation to forecast the effects of climate change and the rate of Arctic ice melt vs. the rate of ice formation. Three variations of the models concluded the ice will be entirely melted no later than 2060. One model, identified by researchers as the "trendsetters model" suggested that the Arctic ice could be completely gone by 2020. The second, known as the "stochastic model," predicted the ice would be gone by 2030. The "modelers" approach date of 2060 for the third variation is believed to be "entirely optimistic" and less likely to occur due to global climate change data in comparison to the other two dates.

In the official news release, Overland offered: "Rapid arctic sea ice loss is probably the most visible indicator of global climate change; it leads to shifts in ecosystems and economic access, and potentially impacts weather throughout the northern hemisphere. Early loss of sea ice gives immediacy to the issue of climate change." Data from multiple independent international institutions throughout Asia, Europe, North America, and South America was included in the study's research. All observations collected from these organizations have shown that Arctic sea ice is one fifth of the amount it was during 1980.

For more about the study, go here.

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