Source Pravda.Ru

Arctic warming is good news for oil companies, but not for scientists

Scientists have worries about the &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/science/19/94/377/14519_climate.html ' target=_blank>Arctic warming as they have determined that the ice in Greenland and the Arctic is melting too rapidly . It means that by the end of the century much of the Arctic ice could disappear at all. Such results are catastrophic for some species of animals.

With temperatures in the Arctic rising at twice the rate of elsewhere, the ice cover there will within the next 100 years completely disappear in summer and the biodiversity will change dramatically, according to a scientific study published this week.

Even with only "moderate" future emissions of carbon dioxide and other &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/economics/2002/08/21/34964.html ' target=_blank>greenhouse gases, average temperatures in the region could rise by between four and seven degrees Celsius by year 2100, an Arctic Climate Impact Assessment (ACIA) report published by an international team of 300 researchers on Monday.

"It is important because what is going on there is what will happen on the rest of the planet," said Paal Prestrud, the head of the Norwegian Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) and vice president of ACIA, reports South African News.

According to the Independent UK, scientists in the study believe the survival of the estimated 22,000 polar bears in the region is hanging by a slender thread as they suffer the double whammy of chemical &to=http:// english.pravda.ru/comp/2002/08/06/33918.html ' target=_blank>pollution and dwindling feeding territories. Polar bears traditionally hunt on floating sea ice for seals and other quarry.

But the ice has retreated significantly during summer, so the carnivores are having to swim further from one floe to another in search of quarry.

As a result of this extra effort, many bears are failing to build up the necessary fat reserves during the important hunting period of spring and early summer to take them through the bitterly cold winter months when females nurse their young. The sea ice in the Hudson Bay area of Canada, for instance, breaks up about two and a half weeks earlier than it did 30 years ago, Ian Stirling of the Canadian Wildlife Service said.