A cooler than normal Arctic summer has led to a record increase in the polar ice cap, which has led some experts to predict a period of global cooling.
Compared to this time last year, there has been a 60 percent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice, which is the equivalent of nearly a million square miles. An unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe already stretches from the Canadian islands to Russia's northern shore, just days before the annual refreeze is due to begin. Furthermore, the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific has remained blocked by pack-ice all year, which has forced some ships to reroute.
At the same time, a leaked report to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has also led some scientists to predict that Earth is headed towards a period of cooling that won't end until the middle of this century. If proven correct, it would contradict computer forecasts of imminent global warming with catastrophic consequences.
Judith Curry, an American climate expert, says that long-term cycles in ocean temperature suggest that the world may be approaching a similar period to that from 1965 to 1975, when there was an obvious cooling trend. At that time, some forecasted an imminent ice age.