A report by the Catlin Arctic Survey and the World Wildlife Fund based upon an expedition to the Arctic this summer predicts significant loss of summer ice within ten years and the disappearance of ice during the summers within as little as 20 years. The report details the findings and implications from the loss of summer ice in the Arctic.
The Executive Summary to the report notes in part"
"In addition to the regional consequences of arctic climate change are its global impacts. Acting as the Northern Hemisphere’s refrigerator, a frozen Arctic plays a central role in regulating Earth’s climate system. A number of critical arctic climate feedbacks affect the global climate system, and many of these are now being altered in a rapidly warming Arctic....Recent observations strongly suggest that climate change may soon push some systems past tipping points, with global implications. For example, the additional heat absorbed by an increasingly ice-free Arctic Ocean in summer is already accelerating local and regional warming and preventing sea ice from recovering."
In a statement posted by the Catlin Arctic Survey Dr. Martin Sommerkorn from WWF International Arctic Program is quoted as noting that among the impacts of these finding:
“Such a loss of Arctic sea ice cover has recently been assessed to set in motion powerful climate feedbacks which will have an impact far beyond the Arctic itself – self perpetuating cycles, amplifying and accelerating the consequences of global warming. This could lead to flooding affecting one-quarter of the world’s population, substantial increases in greenhouse gas emissions from massive carbon pools and extreme global weather changes."