The UN panel of 2,500 scientists said in February that summer sea ice could almost vanish in the Arctic towards the end of this century.
"There may well be an ice-free Arctic by the middle of the century...
Dr. Rapley also said the IPCC was "restrained to the point of being seriously misleading" in toning down what he said were risks of a melt of parts of Antarctica, by far the biggest store of ice on the planet that could raise world sea levels.
Previously unknown islands are appearing as Arctic summer sea ice shrinks to record lows, raising questions about whether global warming is outpacing UN projections, experts said.
"Reductions of snow and ice are happening at an alarming rate," Norwegian Environment Minister Helen Bjoernoy said at a seminar of 40 scientists and politicians that began late on Monday in Ny Alesund, 1,200 kilometres from the North Pole.
"This acceleration may be faster than predicted" by the UN climate panel this year, she told reporters at the Aug. 20-22 seminar.
"I know of two islands that appeared in the north of Svalbard this summer. They haven't been claimed yet," said Rune Bergstrom, environmental expert with the Norwegian governor's office on Svalbard.
Interesting that while some still argue that the IPCC is spreading environmental propaganda, we keep hearing more and more expert opinion arguing that their predictions were too tame. While some still argue about the wisdom of relying on computer models, we have recent releases which suggest the computer models are wrong, the only difference, they tend to underestimate what is actually occuring.