Ice-free Arctic summers now very likely even with climate action

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Scientists surprised by latest results but say carbon cuts remain vital to prevent ice loss becoming permanent

The loss of summer sea ice in the Arctic is now very likely before 2050, new research shows, even if the carbon emissions driving the climate crisis are cut rapidly.

The result has alarmed scientists but they said slashing greenhouse gases remained vital as this would determine whether Arctic summer ice vanished permanently or could recover over time. If emissions remain very high, there is a risk the Arctic could be ice-free even in the dark, cold winter months, a possibility described as “catastrophic”.

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