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Future for the Arctic on ice   
Thursday, 30 August 2012

Produced by Sarah Spencer

Story audio


Earth could cease to have a North Pole altogether within as little as three years according to figures released this week. The report by the University of Colorado National Snow and Ice Data Centre shows that the Arctic sea ice cap is in a much more dire state than originally expected and could disappear by 2015.

An area of ice the size of Ireland has been melting away each day – and is on track to decline further in the next three weeks of melting season. The ice cap will normally lose 40,000sq km per day in August, however it is now losing 75,000sq km - meaning it's melting twice as fast as usual. After reaching an all-time low level on Sunday, scientists have raised concern over its future.

Featured in story
Rob Masson - Senior Research Scientist with the Australian Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre
Professor Matthew England - University of New South Wales Climate Change Research Centre

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