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The personal journal of technology journalist and conference speaker Randall S. Newton.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Arctic Ice Disappearing at Unprecedented Rate

As The Guardian reports, arctic ice disappeared this summer at a rate never seen before. Excerpts:

Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver, said: "It's amazing. It's simply fallen off a cliff and we're still losing ice."

The Arctic has now lost about a third of its ice since satellite measurements began thirty years ago, and the rate of loss has accelerated sharply since 2002.

Dr Serreze said: "If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our childrens' lifetimes."

If you thought my idea to buy land in Svalbard was nuts (see "Beating the Great Arctic Land Rush in Svalbard" from January 2007), I'm ready to say "I told you so." I have plans to be in Europe next month, but right now those plans do not include Svalbard. Maybe I should rethink my journey, before land prices start rising.


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