Arctic sea ice has been shrinking each year, raising concerns that Arctic summers might be free of ice by the 2030s.
AS ARCTIC sea ice hits a record low, focus is turning to climate ”tipping points” – a threshold that, once crossed, cannot be reversed and will create fundamental changes to other areas.
In the case of the Arctic ice cap, less ice means less white surface to reflect heat and more dark water to soak it up.
It is unclear what the tipping point is for the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and melts similar to this year’s seem to occur every century or so.
As the polar ice cap shriveled at unforeseen speed, Professor Steffen said he had changed his mind about the Arctic tipping point in past weeks.
”I would say that, certainly, it is looking like 2050 would be an outlier now – I’m pretty certain that we have now passed the tipping point for Arctic sea ice.”