Goal of limiting rise in average global temperatures to below 2C may not prevent ice-free Arctic, scientists warn. Arctic sea ice could vanish in summers this century even if governments achieve a core target for limiting global warming set by almost 200 countries, scientists have said.
This month the extent of Arctic sea ice is rivalling 2016 and 2015 as the smallest for the time of year since satellite records began in the late 1970s. The ice reaches a winter maximum in March and a summer minimum in September. “In less than 40 years, we have almost halved the summer sea ice cover,” said Tor Eldevik a professor at the Bjerknes Centre for Climate Research at the University of Bergen in Norway, who was not involved in the study. He predicted sea ice would vanish in the Arctic Ocean in about 40 years on current trends.
Meanwhile in Australia, a major independent review into the state of Australia’s environment has found climate change is placing an “increasingly important and pervasive pressure” on the nation and some of its impacts “may be irreversible”.
Environment Minister Josh Frydenberg, who concedes the government’s target of 23.5 per cent renewable energy generation by 2020 “will be quite a stretch”.