Canada: sea ice melting faster than expected
Sea ice in Canada's Arctic is melting faster than previously expected, the lead investigator in Ottawa's largest climate-change study yet said Feb. 5—raising a worst-case scenario of an ice-free Arctic by 2013. University of Manitoba professor David Barber, leader of the Circumpolar Flaw Lead System Study, said "It's happening much faster than our most pessimistic models suggested."
Barber and more than 300 scientists from around the world spent last winter on the Canadian Coast Guard research ship Amundsen in the Arctic—the first research vessel to remain mobile in open water during the winter season. Canada's federal government provided $156 million for the study. Barber said that before the expedition, it was assumed the Arctic would be ice-free in the winter by 2100. "We expect it will happen much faster than that... somewhere between 2013 and 2030 are our estimates right now." (Canwest, Feb. 5)