Saturday, February 06, 2010

As the ice melts at the Arctic much faster than projected

The oil and gas companies try to hide their delight over newly accessible oil fields and pretend to show concern over the environment:

Scientists link higher Arctic temperatures and melting sea ice to the greenhouse gas emissions blamed for global warming.

The Arctic is considered a type of early-warning system of climate change for the rest of the world.

"We know we're losing sea ice -- the world is all aware of that," Barber said. "What you're not aware of is that it has impacts on everything else that goes on in this system."

The loss of the sea ice is taking away areas for the region's mammals to reproduce, find food and elude predators, said Steve Ferguson, a scientist with the Canadian government who took part in the study.

Whale species previously not found in the Arctic are moving into the region because there is less sea ice to restrict their movements.

Climate change is also bringing more cyclones into the Arctic, dumping snow on the sea ice, which limits how thick it can get, and bringing winds that break up the ice, Barber said.

The study is part of the International Polar Year, a large scientific program focused on the Arctic and Antarctic. The scientists have not yet produced conclusions, but they expect to publish dozens of academic papers.

The cost of the Arctic's rapid melt will be $2.4 trillion by 2050 as the region loses its ability to cool the global climate, the U.S.-based Pew Environment Group said on Friday. The group released a report showing the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet.

Both the Canadian government and the oil and gas industry are keenly interested in the possible environmental impact of development further north in the Arctic, said professor Louis Fortier of Laval University.

Currently, development is focused on mainland regions such as the massive gas fields in the Mackenzie River Delta on the Beaufort Sea. But receding ice levels may make the wider Arctic more accessible to ships and make drilling in more areas possible.

"Conclusions will come later, but ... up to now there's no indication that the impacts would be larger (further north) than elsewhere in the Arctic," Fortier said.

Secretly rejoicing in greenhouse gases melting the ice cap so that more petroleum can be drilled for ... making more greenhouse gases...


Dusty Crickets said...

More on this over at Think Progress.....a snip

"In reality, catastrophic “snowpocalypse” and “snowmageddon” events are exactly what scientists have been warning would hit Virginians because of global warming, in part because warmer air can hold more water. As National Wildlife Federation climate scientist Amanda Staudt notes, winter storms are getting fiercer even as the season gets warmer......his past month of January was the warmest on record for the planet."

ellroon said...

Too complicated for wingnuts.... I don't know if they'll ever be able to understand. They're too threatened by Al Gore and the scary scientists.

SmarterThanYou said...

You pompous fools. Looking down your nose at the rest of the world while true science (aka GEOLOGY) shows there are natural reasons for any climate shifts. These consistent & tangible geological trends are nothing new. This has been well documented for decades but nooooooo, you phenoms are just so much more intelligent. Fools.

This one is from last week:

This one is from 2001:

Guess what?!?! They both state that sea level isn’t rising which implies the ice caps aren’t melting. Gee, I sure hope us silling wingnuts can wrap our heads around these findings by your beloved scientists.

Oh and now the heavy winter is your reasoning? I find that interesting b/c a few years ago when we had a mild winter, THAT Was the proof of Global Warming. Don’t believe me? Well here is one of those crazy conservative websites that shows soundbites illustrating my point.

You morons are willing to tax our industry to death with your “Green credits” over bad science. It’s b/c of fools like you that this country can’t keep industry within our own borders.

ellroon said...

Thanks, Smarter. I appreciate your comment and have my reply here.