Melting snow and ice - A call for action Nobel Peace Prize laureate Al Gore and Norway´s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jonas Gahr Støre presented today a report on the Greenland ice sheet.

The report, consisting of almost 100 pages, emphasize that snow and ice are important components of the Earth’s climate system, and that they are particularly vulnerable to global warming. Significant changes have been observed over the last decades and it appears that these changes are occurring at an accelerating pace, states the report.

Støre and Gore together with several scientist and experts on Greenland and ice started this report after the Melting Ice Conference in Tromsø in April 2009.

In short the report states the following:
➢ From 1993 to the end of 2007 data indicate global sea level rise between 3 and 4 mm per year. This rate is faster than the 1.7 mm per year average rate over the 20th century. Melting of land ice is now becoming the dominant contributor to sea level rise
➢ The Arctic sea ice extent has decrease significantly; the summer minimum is decreasing by 11.2% per decade, much faster than projected by current models
➢ The Arctic Sea ice is thinning, with thin seasonal ice replacing thick older one. Currently, thin first-year ice makes up to about 70% of the total cover, compared to 50% in the 1980s.
➢ The permafrost around the globe has typically warmed between 0,5 and 2 degrees Celsius.

After the presentation of the report for the world press, Gahrs Støre will personally deliver the report to his 192 Minister colleagues, while Gro Harlem Brundtland will give the report to the UN executive secretary, Yvo de Boer.

The report is available at:

http://www.regjeringen.no/upload/UD/Vedlegg/klima/melting_ice_report.pdf