Sea ice in the Arctic could be a thing of the past, a leading scientist has warned. For the first time in 100,000 years the chilling landscape known for its snow-capped mountains and polar bears may be without its sea ice either this year or the next.
Peter Wadhams, head of the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, told The Independent:
My prediction remains that the Arctic ice may well disappear, that is, have an area of less than one million square kilometres for September of this year.
Ocean Physics Professor Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University based his prediction on projected data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center showing that on 1 June this year there were estimated to be 11.1 million square kilometers of sea ice. This is below the average from the past 30 years of 12.7 million square kilometers, a difference of an area roughly the same size as the UK.
The last time the Arctic was clear of ice is believed to be about 100,000 to 120,000 years ago. Sea ice is usually at its lowest in September and starts to build again when the winter sets in.