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Arctic climate change to be 'dramatic'

COPENHAGEN, Denmark, May 11 (UPI) -- Climate change in the arctic is happening quicker than previously assumed and will be "dramatic", experts say.

Climatologists attending the Arctic Council's Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program conference in Copenhagen heard about a worrying state of affairs for the snow, water, ice and permafrost in the arctic, a release from the University of Copenhagen said Wednesday.

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"The order of the day in the arctic right now is change," said Katherine Richardson, associate dean at the university, one of the organizers of the conference along with AMAP and the University of Aarhus.

"But we shouldn't expect that those changes will be linear in the sense of a little bit each day. We're going to see dramatic changes. If the ice in the arctic melts, it is going to lead to water-level problems on a global scale that we all will feel the consequences of."

What happens in the arctic, the researchers say, will be closely related to developments in the rest of the world.

About 400 scientists from 20 countries presented scientific data at the conference.

Danish Foreign Minister Lene Espersen, who attended the conference, will head to Greenland where she will meet with foreign ministers from Arctic Council states who are expected to discuss the scientific findings presented during the AMAP meeting.

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In addition to Denmark, other Arctic Council members are Canada, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Russia, Sweden and the United States.

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