At least 70 percent, and as much as 95 percent, of sea ice loss in
the Arctic is the result of human activities such as the burning of
greenhouse gases, according to a new study.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC),
summer sea ice extent in the Arctic is declining by approximately 12
percent per decade; 2007 and 2011 experienced the lowest summer sea ice
levels on record, and NSIDC director Mark Serreze has said that this year’s ice is in a “sorry state”, at the extreme low end of the satellite record for this time of year and on track to be similar to 2007.
But how much of that change is the result of global warming, and how
much can be attributed to natural cycles? The new study, published in
the journal Environmental Research Letters, set out to answer that very question.