Last updated October 10, 2018

Observed Arctic sea-ice loss directly follows anthropogenic CO2 emission

  • Uses a robust linear relationship between monthly-mean September sea-ice area and cumulative CO2 emissions to infer the future evolution of Arctic summer sea ice directly from the observational record
  • States that the observed linear relationship implies a sustained loss of 3 ± 0.3 m2 of September sea-ice area per metric ton of CO2 emission
  • Finds, based on this sensitivity, that Arctic sea-ice will be lost throughout September for an additional 1000 Gt of CO2 emissions
  • States that most models show a lower sensitivity, which is possibly linked to an underestimation of the modeled increase in incoming longwave radiation and of the modeled Transient Climate Response