Arctic could be iceless by 2030

I’m sure the Register’s Mark Landsbaum will continue to claim that global warming is a myth; but heck, what do you expect from a flat-Earther?  H/t to Raw Story for pointing out this story from David Adam, environment correspondent Guardian Unlimited.


An iceberg melts in Kulusuk, Greenland near the Arctic circle.
Photo: John McConnico/AP

Loss of Arctic ice leaves experts stunned
Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced.

Experts say they are “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.

So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month.

If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver, said: “It’s amazing. It’s simply fallen off a cliff and we’re still losing ice.”

The Arctic has now lost about a third of its ice since satellite measurements began thirty years ago, and the rate of loss has accelerated sharply since 2002.

Dr Serreze said: “If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our childrens’ lifetimes.”

The new figures show that sea ice extent is currently down to 4.4m square kilometres (1.7m square miles) and still falling.

The previous record low was 5.3m square kilometres in September 2005. From 1979 to 2000 the average sea ice extent was 7.7m square kilometres.

The sea ice usually melts in the Arctic summer and freezes again in the winter. But Dr Serreze said that would be difficult this year.

“This summer we’ve got all this open water and added heat going into the ocean. That is going to make it much harder for the ice to grow back.”

Changes in wind and ocean circulation patterns can help reduce sea ice extent, but Dr Serreze said the main culprit was man-made global warming.

“The rules are starting to change and what’s changing the rules is the input of greenhouse gases.”

  5 comments for “Arctic could be iceless by 2030

  1. d'Anconia
    September 5, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    “The sea ice usually melts in the Arctic summer and freezes again in the winter. But Dr Serreze said that would be difficult this year.”

    Difficult? How is water turning into ice something “difficult”? It either happens or it doesn’t.

    Sounds like more alarmist BS to me. I’ll take notice if the water stops freezing during the winter in the arctic. Until then, it’s all more cheap alarmist speculation.

  2. September 5, 2007 at 4:07 pm

    d’A: you still owe me an answer on the nuclear energy thread.

  3. DNO
    September 5, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    I love it! d’A calls it alarmist BS…

    The entire scientific community is united in saying Global Warming exists…

    I doubt d’A would question the entire scientific community if it came down to his own health care… do you doubt the entire scientific community when it comes down to say cancer treatment? Of course not, it doesnt go against any of your preconcieved notion…

  4. demmother
    September 5, 2007 at 6:42 pm

    On the upside, perhaps the Russian flag at the North Pole will fall into the Artic when the polar cap melts.

    d’A – Yes heat melts ice – the rate of melting up at the North Pole has accelerated. The question will be how much will freeze this winter. If it is not cold enough, it stands to reason that more of the ice cap will melt next year when the North pole tilts toward the sun.

    This is a serious environmental issue, beit from ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’… or do you deny both? Regardless of the cause, it is important that this generation own it and take responsibility. If we can cut down on cow farts, we should make sure the cows get some Beano. If auto or factory emissions are contributing in any way, we should reduce emissions. If there are not enough trees to photosynthesize, why not cut back on deforestation? Cut the spin and get the fat elephant out of the way so you can observe. Oh, observation is part of scientific method, guess that doesn’t hold water.

    I don’t have kids but maybe you do… what kind of world do you want to leave for them?

  5. d'Anconia
    September 6, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Gila-

    Forgive me if I missed one of your comments. I try my best to respond to all questions directed at me. Don’t take it personal.

    DNO-

    “The entire scientific community is united in saying Global Warming exists…”

    No they’re not. This idea of a “concensus” is just plain false, and you have fallen for it. Do you need me to list all the scientists that are against the idea of anthro global warming? You can also google it and find out.

    demmother-

    I’ve stated in the past that I don’t deny EITHER of the claims of global warming or climate change. Only an idiot would argue against the fact that the earth goes through cycles of cooling and warming. I do, however, take issue with the idea that we can somehow stop this cycle. I also take issue with the idea that somehow stopping this cycle is beneficial to our society. There is ZERO evidence that our planet would be a worse place to live in 100 years if the temperature goes up by 1 degree celsius.

    Also, you ask about deforestation. I would encourage you to do some reading on HOW trees actually help the environment and contribute to climate change. If you do you will find that stopping deforestation is NOT the best way to fight climate change, but to CUT and PLANT more trees instead. Bark stores CO2. Look it up.

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