Scientists have determined that the ice in Greenland and the Arctic is melting so rapidly that much of it could be gone by the end of the century. (See photos from the Arctic.)

The results could be catastrophic for polar people and animals, while low-lying lands as far away as Florida could be inundated by rising sea levels. (Read a story, see a map of how warming may toast Florida's coast).

The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment was released yesterday. It will be discussed by the Arctic Council (the governments of Canada, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, the Russian Federation, Sweden, and the U.S., as well as six indigenous-peoples organizations) at a meeting in Iceland today.

The four-year study of the Arctic climate involved an international team of more than 300 scientists. They used a number of climate models and made a "moderate estimate" of future emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases that are widely believed to be contributing to the recent warming trend of the Earth's climate.

Arctic Melting Fast; May Swamp U.S. Coasts by 2099


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