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May 1: "The forcings and feedbacks of rapid Arctic sea ice loss"

The forcings and feedbacks of rapid Arctic sea ice loss

Observations show large and coordinated changes are occurring
in the Arctic climate system. Perhaps the most dramatic of these
is a significant decline in the summer Arctic ice cover. The summer
of 2007 was particularly striking, being 3 standard deviations
below the linear trend. Model projections suggest continued and
possibly accelerated ice loss into the future.  Here we explore
projected changes in Arctic sea ice conditions through the 21st
century and how they relate to observed change. Particular attention
is paid to instances of rapid summer ice loss and the mechanisms
that are important in driving that loss. The possibility that
these simulated rapid ice loss events represent a "tipping point"
in the system is explored. Evidence of potential feedbacks that
can modify the ice loss are also discussed.

Last updated: April 21, 2008