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Global Climate Projections - Ice and snow

Global Climate Projections

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Ice and snow

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The Arctic is likely to be practically sea ice free in September at least once before 2050. Mountain and polar glaciers are committed to continue melting for decades or centuries. Continued ice loss over the 21st century is virtually certain for the Greenland Ice Sheet and likely for the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Additional warming is projected to further amplify loss of seasonal snow cover.

September Arctic sea ice area

September Arctic sea ice area. The black curve shows historical simulation. Coloured curves show projections under different emissions scenarios. Very likely ranges of SSP1-2.6 and SSP3-7.0 scenarios are shown by coloured shading. (Image credit: IPCC AR6)


Image credit:

Figure SPM.8 Panel b) from IPCC, 2021: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2021: The Physical Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [Masson- Delmotte, V., P. Zhai, A. Pirani, S. L. Connors, C. Péan, S. Berger, N. Caud, Y. Chen, L. Goldfarb, M. I. Gomis, M. Huang, K. Leitzell, E. Lonnoy, J. B. R. Matthews, T. K. Maycock, T. Waterfield, O. Yelekçi, R. Yu and B. Zhou (eds.)]. Cambridge University Press. In Press.