January 5, 2008

Nature may play role in Arctic thaw

Science in brief

From Los Angeles Times Staff and Wire Reports

There's more to the recent dramatic and alarming thawing of the Arctic region than can be explained by human-caused global warming alone, a new study says. Nature is pushing the Arctic to the edge too.

There's a natural cause that may account for much of the Arctic warming, which has melted sea ice, ice sheets and glaciers, according to a study published Thursday in the journal Nature.

New research points a finger at a natural and cyclical increase in the amount of energy in the atmosphere that moves from south to north around the Arctic Circle.