Posting this because it's the first of many reports you can expect to see in the coming week about Arctic Sea Ice hitting new lows in 2012.
According to numerous data sources, many of which can be viewed here
, Arctic summer ice
melt has already broken the "catastrophic" lows it reached in 2007, even though the end of the traditional melt season is still weeks away.
This is not particularly surprising, considering it's been in an obvious decline since modern records began, however the recent dramatic drop over the
last 5 years has caught even the supposedly "alarmist" climate scientists by surprise:
Rate of Arctic summer sea ice loss is 50% higher than
(This must make it extra surprising for the "skeptics", who have all been essentially claiming recovery since the last record in 2007, and were
each other about an apparent return to normal levels
back in March).
Anyway though, the big hoopla will most likely come when the record is broken over at NSIDC
now), as that's kind of considered the premiere source. As you can see - it's very close:
But I think the most telling image comes from this JAXA
Because here you really get a visual sense of the accelerating
melt. Seeing how much the 90's average deviates from the 80's average, and the
2000's from the 90's average, and especially the last few years from the 2000's - it feels almost as if the graph itself is melting.
Disappearing Arctic Sea Ice has all sorts of important consequences for the planet - from accelerating global warming (open blue water absorbs more
sunlight than shiny white reflective ice) - not to mention the threat of increased methane emissions from beneath the ice (see:
Arctic methane leaks threaten climate
) - to changing
global weather patterns (see: Arctic sea ice may be affecting
weather patterns: expert
) to regional effects on local wildlife and environment to opening up new fossil fuel reserves for giant oil companies
to rush in and exploit and further screw everything up.
It was previously believed that we had at least until mid-century before we saw an ice-free Arctic due to climate change. Now some people believe it
could be as soon as mid-decade
(visit the link for the full news article)
edit on 24-8-2012 by mc_squared because: add link