More evidence of global thaw
Vancouver - A team of
British adventurers measuring ice conditions in the Canadian
Arctic said on Wednesday they did not find the thicker, older
ice that scientists expected to be there.
Instead they found only the thinner, predominantly
first-year ice that is likely to melt in summer months, in what
could be another sign of the impact climate change is having on
the Arctic ice sheets.
"Whereas the scientists who had been advising us had
predicted it would be a mixture of this (new ice) and the
older, thicker, multi-layer ice. We saw no evidence of that,"
said Pen Hadow, leader of the Catlin Arctic Survey team.
The scientists had predicted the team would find ice with a
thickness of about 3m, but the average thickness they
found was 1.773m, Hadow said.
"That raises more questions than it answers," he said, in a
satellite phone interview with other members of the group that
was webcast from the Arctic.
The three-member team was airlifted from the ice on
Wednesday, having completed a 73-day trip that covered 434km
over the frozen Arctic Ocean from northern Canada toward the
1 500 measurements
The group had hoped to stay on the ice until late May, but
decided to end the mission on Wednesday after determining the
weather and ice conditions were better now for the aircraft
needed to remove them and their equipment.
"It's now time to get off the ice," Hadow said.
Hadow said the group was able to take about 1 500
measurements of the ice thickness and density during the
journey, collecting data for scientific analysis.
Some scientists have warned that the Arctic is warming at
twice the rate of the rest of the world, and link the higher
temperatures to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global
The sea ice cover shrank to a record low in 2007 before
growing slightly in 2008.