The overall objective of IPY-CARE is to create, co-ordinate and prepare a Pan-European science and implementation plan for Arctic climate change and ecosystems research programme as contribution to the International Polar Year. The Arctic has over the last 2-3 decades warmed more than other regions of the world, and the sea ice cover has decreased in the order of 10% in the same period. Climate models furthermore indicate that anthropogenic global warming will be enhanced in the northern high latitudes due to complex feedback mechanisms in the atmosphere-ocean-ice system. At the end of this century, the Arctic Ocean is predicted to be "a blue ocean" during summer time. The Arctic may therefore encounter the most rapid and dramatic changes during the 21st century, with significant consequences for environment and human activities.
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