Saturday, August 18, 2007

Screw the polar bears!

Think of all the oil we can get to now!: (FYI: for those who are reading only this post, this is sarcasm.)

Arctic sea ice is expected to retreat to a record low by the end of this summer, scientists have predicted.

Measurements made by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) showed the extent of sea ice on 8 August was almost 30% below the long-term average.

Because the region's melting season runs until the middle of September, scientists believe this summer will end with the lowest ice cover on record.

Researchers have forecast ice-free summers in the Arctic by 2040.

NSIDC data showed sea ice extent for 8 August as 5.8 million sq km (2.2 million sq miles), compared to the 1979-2000 August average of 7.7 million sq km (3.0 million sq miles).

The current record low was recorded in 2005, when Arctic sea ice covered just 5.32 million sq km (2.09 million sq miles).


A team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Washington, and McGill University, found that "positive feedbacks" were likely to accelerate the decline of the region's ice system.

Sea ice has a bright surface that reflects 80% of the sunlight that strikes it back into space. However, as the ice melts during the summer, more of the dark ocean surface becomes exposed.

Rather than reflecting sunlight, the ocean absorbs 90% of it, causing the waters to warm and increase the rate of melting.

Scientists fear that this feedback mechanism will have major consequences for wildlife in the region, not least polar bears, which traverse ice-floes in search of food.

On a global scale, the Earth would lose a major reflective surface and so absorb more solar energy, potentially accelerating climatic change across the world.


Lucky7Star said...

Update, you may not have to wait that long,

1.Since July, the smallest record of sea ice area in the Arctic Ocean has been broken every day.
2.Since the beginning of August, the shrinkage of sea ice has been accelerated by a low pressure system generated and lingering off Siberia.
3.On August 15, the total sea ice area in the Arctic Ocean reached a new low.
4.If this pace of melting continues, the sea ice area reduction pace may significantly exceed the IPCC forecast, and it may actually reach the forecasted values for 2040 to 2050...

But it does beg the question as to where you think you're going to put all that new found oil... Perhaps in you're newly discovered daisy pusher powered hole:)

ellroon said...

Thank you for offering an idea on where to put the oil, but you apparently did not take the time to read my other posts.

Satire. Snark. Sarcasm.

The problem is today that people actually think these polarized thoughts (pun intended)....

I will attempt to be more clear.