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Melting sea ice threatens the climate Published 19.05.2009

Decrease in Arctic sea ice will probably increase global warming even more than anticipated.

Recent Danish research shows that sea ice in Arctic regions cause CO2 – in amounts analogous to 10-12 times the annual release from Denmark – to be drawn from the atmosphere and into the sea where it may store for up to 1,000 years. This research will soon be published.

Professor Søren Rysgaard, GCRC, who has been in charge of the project estimates: “With the sea ice heavily diminishing, the lacking ice pump may speed up global warming, as this will cause further increase of CO2 in the atmosphere”.

The oceans contain 50 times more carbon dioxide than the atmosphere where this growing amount of CO2 is believed to be the prime factor in global warming.

An annual addition of 1.7 billions tons of CO2 is drawn into the sea and it is estimated that the ice pump is responsible for 30 to 40 %.