Sunlit skies and bright blue water could come earlier to the Arctic – much earlier, thanks to a distant Pacific climate wobble. Scientists now think that the Arctic Ocean could be effectively ice-free within the next 20 years, opening it to sea lanes across the polar waters between Europe, the US and east Asia. Climate researchers have repeatedly warned, in the last two decades, that because of global warming the ice sheet that masks the Arctic Ocean has been thinning and could in effect vanish altogether in summertime by 2050. New research has brought forward the prediction date. And this time the effective agency is not just global warming driven by profligate combustion of fossil fuels worldwide, but a natural cyclic phenomenon known to oceanographers as the interdecadal Pacific oscillation, or IPO.
Climate News Network 6th March 2019 read more »