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Arctic Ice Retreat Faster Than Predicted

Arctic sea ice is melting at a significantly faster rate than projected by even the most advanced computer models, leading Prince Charles, in the UK, to issue an emergency ?MayDay? warning about global warming.

A new study shows that the Arctic's ice cover is retreating more rapidly than estimated by any of the 18 computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in preparing its 2007 assessments. Both observations and the models point in the same direction: the Arctic is losing ice at an increasingly rapid pace and the impact of greenhouse gases is growing," says researcher Marika Holland, one of the study's co-authors.

Juliene Stroeve, who also co-authored the new study, says, "?Current model projections may in fact provide a conservative estimate of future Arctic change, and the summer Arctic sea ice may disappear considerably earlier than IPCC projections." This means that more flooding is on the way, especially for coastal cities.

BBC News reports that Prince Charles has issued a "MayDay" alert about the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions. "MayDay" is an international phrase among pilots, which indicates an imminent emergency. It comes from the French phrase, "M'Aidez" which means "help me." He says, "This is an emergency we face?we need to act very rapidly indeed."

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

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