Prof Flannery said the clearest example of the IPCC’s conservatism was its prediction the Arctic ice cap could disappear in summers by 2100.
“The actual trajectory we’ve seen in the Arctic over the last two years, if you follow that, that implies that the the Arctic ice cap will be gone in the next five to 15 years. This is an ice cap that’s been around for the last three million years,”” he said.
“Those predictions tell you a little bit about the conservatism of the IPCC, how rapidly the science is moving and how rapidly events in the real world are moving, far in advance I think of even the most sombre warnings by scientists working in this area.”
Hermann Flohn of the University of Bonn, West Germany, said studies of the Arctic Sea ice cover have shown that prolonging the summer melt season by as little as two weeks annually would free the Arctic of ice in about 20 years. “Scientists predict World’s Climate Will Warm Up”, The Leader-Post-9 Jan 1982
The Arctic is warming at a faster rate than the rest of the world, according to research that suggests the continent may never recover from global warming.
Julienne Stroeve of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre, who jointly led the study, told The Independent: “The warming climate is leading to more open water in the Arctic Ocean. As these open water areas develop through spring and summer, they absorb most of the sun’s energy, leading to ocean warming.”
The Arctic had been predicted to see ice-free summers by 2070, but many scientists are now predicting it could happen within the next 20 years, according to the newspaper.
The Telegraph (UK), 16 Dec 2008
An analysis by Cambridge University has concluded that the Arctic is now melting at such a rate that it will be largely ice free within ten years, allowing ships to cross the Arctic Ocean.
The Telegraph, 15 Oct 2009
Walt Meier, research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Centre at the University of Colorado where the research was carried out, said global warming had caused the ice to retreat dramatically in the last two decades.
The six lowest recordings of sea ice cover were all recorded in the last six years. He said thinner sea ice is less likely to survive the summer and predicted the Arctic Ocean will be effectively ice free sometime between 2020 and 2040, although it is possible it could happen as early as 2013.
The Telegraph (UK), 7 Apr 2009
Arctic specialist Bernt Balchen says a general warming trend over the North Pole is melting the polar ice cap and may produce an ice-free Arctic Ocean by the year 2000. Balchen, 72, is recognized as a leading specialist on the Arctic. “Weather across the northern half of the United States would be 20 to 25 degrees warmer than it is now,” Balchen said.
Tuscaloosa News, 18 May 1972
thanks to cory
“A year ago US scientists caused alarm when they predicted the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer ice by 2030 but now researchers say those estimates were far too conservative. A US-based team has told a conference in California that the northern polar waters could be ice-free in summer by 2013.”
ABC (Australia) AM program 13 Dec 2007 “Arctic Ocean ice could melt by 2013”
The vast Arctic sea ice that spreads across the North Pole could disappear during the summer within five years, leading ice and snow scientists are warning. Only a few years ago, climate modellers predicted the Arctic sea ice would not melt out in summer until at least the end of the century.
“Then they said 2070, and then they said 2050 and then they said 2030,” said Robie Macdonald, a leading Canadian Arctic scientist. “Not only do I see the change but it’s like they’re moving the goal posts toward me and it’s an amazing thing.”
The Age (Australia) 4 Aug 2008
Data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) shows that the year began with ice covering a larger area than at the beginning of 2007. But now it is down to levels seen last June, at the beginning of a summer that broke records for sea ice loss. Scientists on the project say much of the ice is so thin as to melt easily, and the Arctic seas may be ice-free in summer within five to 10 years.
“I think we’re going to beat last year’s record melt, though I’d love to be wrong. If we do, then I don’t think 2013 is far off any more. If what we think is going to happen does happen, then it’ll be within a decade anyway,” said Julienne Stroeve from NSIDC in Boulder, Colorado.
BBC News, 18 Jun 2008
This year, for the first time, Arctic scientists are preparing for that possibility. The set-up for this summer is disturbing,” says Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). A number of factors have this year led to most of the Arctic ice being thin and vulnerable as it enters its summer melting season.
ABC News (US), 27 Apr 2008
Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice. Their latest modelling studies indicate northern polar waters could be ice-free in summers within just 5-6 years.
Professor Wieslaw Maslowski told an American Geophysical Union meeting that previous projections had underestimated the processes now driving ice loss.
BBC News, 12 Dec 2007
“We might see an ice-free Arctic sea by the year 2030 within some of our lifetimes,” said Mark Serreze from the US National Snow and Ice Centre. “There are some scientists out there who think that even might be optimistic.”
The Age (Australia), 4 Aug 2008
Ice at the North Pole may disappear completely within the next few months for the first time in 20,000 years. “There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole – not water,” said Mark Serreze of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Colorado. “The Centre has been predicting that the Arctic Ocean could be virtually ice-free by 2012 but that point may be reached within months rather than years.”
The Telegraph, (UK) 27 Jun 2008
“For the record; I do not think that any sea ice will survive this summer. An event unprecedented in human history is today, this very moment, transpiring in the Arctic Ocean. The cracks in the sea ice that I reported on my Sierra Club Canada blog and elsewhere over the last several days have spread and at this moment the entire sea ice sheet (or about 99% of it) covering the Arctic Ocean is on the move. Clockwise. The ice is thin, and slushy, and breaking apart.”
Arctic News 18 Mar 2013 – Paul Beckwith, Sierra Club Canada, 23 Mar 2013
Modelling of Arctic sea ice by the Met Office Hadley Centre climate model shows that ice invariably recovers from extreme events, and that the long-term trend of reduction is robust — with the first ice-free summer expected to occur between 2060 and 2080.
Press Release, British Met Office, 15/10/2009
The Arctic ice cap has melted so much that open water is now just 560km from the North Pole, the shortest distance recorded, according to scientists. Satellite observations last week from the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre coincide with a prediction by a leading polar researcher that the summer ice cap is likely to disappear within five years, possibly even next year.
“The Arctic ice cap is in a death spiral,” said Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University. He has just returned from a research voyage in which the thickness of Arctic sea ice was measured by sending a mini-submarine under the floes. ”
The Australian, Arctic ice cap in ‘death spiral’, 22 Sep 2014