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1/05/2008

Nature, man jointly cook Arctic

News Alert
New research suggests that a natural and cyclical increase in the amount of energy in the atmosphere contributes to Arctic warming.
(CBC)

There's more to the recent dramatic and alarming thawing of the Arctic region than can be explained by man-made global warming alone, a new study found. Nature is pushing the Arctic to the edge, too. New research points a finger at a natural and cyclical increase in the amount of energy in the atmosphere that moves from south to north around the Arctic Circle. But that energy transfer, which comes with storms that head north because of ocean currents, is not acting alone either. Another upcoming study concludes that the combination of that natural energy transfer increase and man-made global warming serve as a one-two punch that is pushing the Arctic over the edge. In September, the Arctic Ocean had 23 per cent less sea ice than the previous record low. Greenland's ice sheet melted 17.2 billion tonnes more than its previous record. The study suggests there's more behind it than global warming because the air several kilometres above the ground is warming more than calculated by the climate models.
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