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Norway's Arctic islands at their hottest since Viking era: scientists

by Staff Writers
Oslo (AFP) Dec 11, 2007
Norway's Arctic archipelago of Svalbard recently experienced its highest temperatures since the end of the Viking Age around 800 years ago, the Norwegian Polar Institute said Tuesday.

Analysis of ice taken from Lomonosovfonna, one of the highest glaciers on Svalbard, confirms that recent local temperatures have been at their highest since the 13th century, the institute said in a statement.

"And the warming is accelerating," Elisabeth Isaksson, one of the glaciologists at the institute, told AFP.

The institute in 1997 removed ice cores from the glacier containing climate information dating back 800 years and it has only recently finished analysing the wealth of data.

Thermometer measurements taken since 1911 meanwhile show that 2006 was the warmest year on record in the archipelago.

During the Viking Age, which was much warmer than the following centuries, people from Europe's Nordic region had access to ice-free seas all the way to Greenland and North America, Isaksson said.

The ice core samples did not go deep enough however to determine the exact temperatures at the time, she said.

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Current Melting Of Greenland Ice Mimics 1920s-1940s Event
Columbus OH (SPX) Dec 11, 2007
Two researchers here spent months scouring through old expedition logs and reports, and reviewing 70-year-old maps and photos before making a surprising discovery. They found that the effects of the current warming and melting of Greenland 's glaciers that has alarmed the world's climate scientists occurred in the decades following an abrupt warming in the 1920s.







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