Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Loss of arctic sea ice

Going, going, gone by 2040(?)--arctic sea ice may vanish within our lifetimes. Effects are hard to predict, but some sea mammals are likely casualties.

Rapid changes are surprising scientists, including the loss of ice shelves on Canada's remote northern coasts. One particular event was startling, an ice island bigger than 11,000 football fields went walkabout one fine summer day in 2005.

Loss of sea ice is linked to global warming, which has recently been admitted by the US government to be caused by humans. In an announcement that 2006 was the warmest year on record, the Bush adminstration finally admitted that humans are a cause of global warming. Public affairs officials were suprised, since they were used to Bush administration higher-ups trimming such language out of press releases.

We seem to be headed for an ice-free Arctic Ocean by 2040 if we don't do something soon (see model results above).

diagram: NCAR

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have lived in Central Alaska for 20 years, and the "good old days" that we used to see with 2 weeks of -40 to -60, even colder in places just aren't happening these days. Lately we might see a day or two of -40 each winter. Less snow is falling too, a lot less. Life is easier for Alaskans in the winter these days but there will be a price to pay....