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Science in Brief

North Pole might soon be ice-free

June 28, 2008|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

There's a 50-50 chance the North Pole will be ice-free this summer, which would be a first in recorded history, a leading ice scientist said Friday.

The weather and ocean conditions in the next few weeks will determine how much sea ice will melt, said Mark Serreze, a senior researcher at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Preliminary February and March data from a NASA satellite show that the polar ice is "considerably thinner" than scientists have seen during the five years the satellite has been taking pictures, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said.

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