The Arctic is expected to have no summer ice within decades.
Will there be summers with no ice left in the Arctic?
Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration at the University of Washington have published possible scenarios on how much Arctic Sea ice will be present in future summers.
Even when looking at different models of how much ice is expected to melt, the scientists found that there might be almost no ice left in the Arctic during the summer within the next fifty years.
One model predicts that the Arctic will be nearly free of ice during the summer by the year 2020, and the most generous estimate says that the ice will be nearly gone by around 2060.
James Overland from the NOAA Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory said: “Rapid Arctic sea ice loss is probably the most visible indicator of global climate change; it leads to shifts in ecosystems and economic access, and potentially impacts weather throughout the northern hemisphere.”
The melting ice is opening up the Arctic region for exploration by oil companies looking for new places to drill.