Monday, April 21, 2008

Is climate change causing ice melts?

UI researchers turn attention to Arctic, say many factors behind shrinking caps

by Melissa Silverberg

A piece of Antarctica the size of Connecticut, also known as the Wilkins ice shelf, received attention around the world when it broke off from the continent in March. But, officials from the University and the National Snow and Ice Data Center have said it is actually ice in the Arctic that may be most affected by climate change.The summer of 2007 saw the lowest amount of ice coverage in the Arctic throughout recorded history, said William Chapman, a senior research programmer in the University's Department of Atmospheric Sciences.While the low amount of ice does have something to do with climate change, Chapman said, there was also a variety of other factors that came together at one time last summer. Clear skies and favorable winds also could have led to the great amount of ice melting, he added.

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