By when will summer Arctic Sea ice coverage drop to zero?
Prof Peter Wadhams, of Cambridge University, said the ice that forms over the Arctic sea is shrinking so rapidly that it could vanish altogether in as little as four years' time. "It is really showing the fall-off in ice volume is so fast that it is going to bring us to zero very quickly. 2015 is a very serious prediction and I think I am pretty much persuaded that that's when it will happen."
The mass of ice between northern Russia, Canada and Greenland waxes and wanes with the seasons, currently reaching a minimum size of about four million square kilometres.
Most models, including the latest estimates by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), track the decline in the area covered by ice in recent years to predict the rate at which it will deteriorate. But citing research compiled by Dr Wieslaw Maslowski, a researcher from the American Naval Postgraduate School, last year Prof Wadhams said such predictions failed to spot how quickly climate change is causing the ice to thin.
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