The Arctic Ocean will be ice-free in the summertime within 20 years, according to one of the world’s leading experts in the field. Professor Peter Wadham’s analysis was based on an extensive survey of polar ice.“The summer ice will disappear within 20 to 30 years, and a lot of it will be gone within the next 10 years. It will retreat to a fairly small area north of Greenland within about a decade and then the rest of the ice will disappear during the following decade,” he said. Scientists say the disappearance of Arctic ice is one of the clearest signs of global warming. It will cause sea levels to rise and destroy wildlife habitats. It will also lead to the opening of new shipping routes, which was among the items on the agenda of a meeting today of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council, a group of nations with common interests in the region. The conclusions of the ice survey highlight conflicting interests about the effects of climate change on the Arctic.