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The Arctic is Now Expected to be Ice-Free by 2040

           

The Arctic Council foresees increased shipping once the sea-ice has disappeared. Image: REUTERS/NASA

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weforum.org - by Keith Breene - May 17, 2017

The last piece of summer sea-ice in the Arctic is expected to melt away in just 23 years, three decades earlier than previously expected.

Scientists now believe that the summer of 2040 will see the end of the frozen north pole after a rapid shrinking of the ice coverage in recent years, according to a report from the Arctic Council.

The scientific policy group of the eight countries with territory in the Arctic Circle says that over the past 30 years, the minimum coverage of summer ice has fallen by half while its volume has fallen by three-quarters. This change has profound implications, beyond those countries that have a direct stake in the region.

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