=== (AGENDAWATCHDOG) === Sea ice in much of the Arctic may be thinning twice as fast as previously thought, scientists fear, raising concerns that parts of the region could be ice-free by 2040.
This would not only cause global temperatures to rise, but also increase the risk of extreme weather and flooding in many coastal regions around the world.
Researchers looked at data from a European Space Agency satellite to analyse changes to Arctic sea ice, which is frozen seawater floating on the ocean surface.
However, due to the difficulties of calculating sea ice thickness from satellite radar data alone, they also used new computer models to produce detailed snow cover estimates from 2002 to 2018.
This was because previous snow data was outdated and relied on measurements carried out by Soviet expeditions on ice floes between 1954 and 1991, according to researchers at University College London (UCL).
The new models assessed the depth and density of snow by tracking snowfall, ice floe movement and temperature to help calculate snow ice thickness.
They found that the rate of decline in the coastal regions of the Arctic was 70 per cent to 100 per cent faster than previously thought.