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Arctic has taken a turn for the warmer

Scientists see pervasive and permanent changes in the last five years

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4:11pm, December 2, 2011

The northern polar region’s climate has materially changed over the past five years, a team of 121 scientists from 14 nations concludes in a December 1 Arctic report card. Compared with 2006 and earlier, they note, the Arctic is warmer and less icy.

Sufficient observational data now exist “to indicate a shift in the Arctic Ocean system since 2006,” says Jacqueline Richter-Menge of the U.S. Army’s Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory in Hanover, N.H., a coeditor of the new analysis. “This shift is characterized by the persistent decline in the thickness and summer extent of sea-ice cover and by a warmer, l

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