The Arctic Ocean could become free of sea ice for the first time in 100,000 years, even if steps are taken to keep global warming to within two degrees Celsius, according to new warnings from scientists.

The region has experienced much sharper rises in temperature in recent decades than the rest of the world with temperatures in winter an astonishing 8 to 11C higher than the averages between 1961 and 1990.

The loss of sea ice, which reflects much of the sun’s energy, will also increase the rate of global warming.

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