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Loss of Arctic sea ice '70% man-made'

26 Jul 2012

The Guardian

Alok Jha, science correspondent

Since the 1970s, there has been a 40% decrease in the extent of summer sea ice. Photograph: AlaskaStock/Corbis
The radical decline in sea ice around the Arctic is at least 70% due to human-induced climate change, according to a new study, and may even be up to 95% down to humans - rather higher than scientists had previously thought.

The loss of ice around the Arctic has adverse effects on wildlife and also opens up new northern sea routes and opportunities to drill for oil and gas under the newly accessible sea bed.

The reduction has been accelerating since the 1990s and many scientists believe the Arctic may become ice-free in the summers later this century, possibly as early as the late 2020s.

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