Climate impact on Arctic accelerates

Global warming is having a greater and faster impact on the Arctic than previously thought, warns a new study by WWF, which shows the melting of Arctic sea ice and the Greenland Ice Sheet accelerating towards a possible "tipping point", when rapid and perhaps irreversible change could occur.

"When you look in detail at the science behind the recent Arctic changes it becomes painfully clear how our understanding of climate impacts lags behind the changes that we are already seeing in the Arctic," said report co-author Martin Sommerkorn. "This is extremely dangerous, as some of these changes have the potential to substantially increase the warming of the Earth, beyond what models currently forecast," he added. 

 The new study shows there has been a far greater loss of ice mass in the past few years, much more than had been predicted by scientific models. It also found that change was occurring in all arctic systems, affecting the atmosphere, sea ice and ice sheets, snow and permafrost, as well as species and populations, food webs, ecosystems and human societies.

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