Though temperatures were warmer during the last interglacial period, the greenhouse effect of atmospheric C02 is now melting more Arctic sea ice.
The prognosis for summer Arctic sea-ice loss over the next few decades is worse than it was 125,000 years ago during the last interglacial period, despite the fact temperatures were higher then.
That is the sobering conclusion reached by researchers at the Alfred-Wegener Institute in Germany. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Communications.
A team led by paleoclimatologist Rüdiger Stein combined sediment core data and climate models to estimate historical ice levels in the Arctic Ocean, in light of evidence-weighted predictions that such ice may disappear during the northern summer in the next 50 to 100 years.
Even though “the high latitudes were significantly warmer than today” during the interglacial period, the scientists state, “sea ice existed in the central Arctic Ocean during summer”.