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Warming in the Arctic is likely to turn into cold and further records of the minimum amount of drift ice in the area will not be set, the head of a Russian Arctic expedition said on Tuesday.
"I think the repetition of this event is next to impossible...There are hints that the trend has changed its direction," Vladimir Sokolov said, referring to the recent forecast of global Arctic warming.
The scientist said the outlook from drifting stations showed that ice coverage had grown; the temperatures had become colder in winter while precipitation in summer had decreased.
In 2007, scientists observed the unique situation when drift ice in the area of the Arctic Ocean reached a record-breaking minimum.
Sokolov said the forecasts predicting the future reduction of Arctic drift ice are "incorrect."
"The statement over the melting of drift ice in the Arctic is incorrect as there is a polar day and a polar night. As long as polar nights exist, there will be ice because of negative temperatures and the lack of solar heat," Sokolov said.
The Arctic territories, believed to hold vast untapped oil and gas reserves, have increasingly been at the center of disputes between Russia and Norway, as well as the United States, Canada and Denmark as rising temperatures lead to a reduction in sea ice, making the extraction of natural resources easier.
Under international law, the five Arctic Circle countries each have a 322-kilometer (200-mile) economic zone in the Arctic Ocean.
ST. PETERSBURG, April 27 (RIA Novosti)
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