Thursday, April 29, 2010

Warming sign? Arctic sees April rain

By David Ljunggren
updated 12:42 p.m. ET, Tues., April 27, 2010

OTTAWA - In what looks to be another sign the Arctic is heating up quickly, British explorers reported Tuesday that they had been hit by a three-minute rain shower over the weekend.

The rain fell on the team's ice base off Ellef Rignes Island, about 2,420 miles north of the Canadian capital Ottawa.

"It's definitely a shocker ... the general feeling within the polar community is that rainfall in the high Canadian Arctic in April is a freak event," said Pen Hadow, the team's expedition director.

"Scientists would tell us that we can expect increasingly to experience these sorts of outcomes as the climate warms," he told Reuters in a telephone interview from London.

The Arctic is heating up three times more quickly than the rest of the Earth. Scientists link the higher temperatures to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

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