Summer Arctic Sea Ice Gone by 2040

melting iceArctic sea ice retreat is likely to accelerate so rapidly that the Arctic Ocean could become nearly devoid of ice during summertime as early as 2040. This is 40 years earlier than previously thought. “If nothing is done to curb man-made emissions of greenhouse gases the Arctic Basin, from Siberia and Greenland to Canada and Alaska, could be open water in summer within the lifetime of today's children.” Such abrupt loss of ice in a gradually warming world is due to positive feedback from the open water which absorbs more sunlight than more highly reflective ice, thus further hastening Arctic sea ice melting [search]. Results will vary from the local including the loss of many Arctic indigeneous peoples [search] and their way of life, extinction of the polar bear [search]; and globally lead to more climate change through disruption of the North Atlantic current [search] that brings mild winters to Britain, or a more rapid loss of the Greenland ice sheet [search].The findings are part of the fourth assessment of the International Panel on Climate Change due next year, and were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. I believe this is a harbinger of abrupt climate change whose impacts fall beyond the present worst case scientific scenarios.

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16 Responses

  1. Azair Yaqub says:

    Hardly any1 cares. The near future people will despise us for these useless goverments only caring about money

  2. You are correct … we reallyonly care about ourselves don't we … as much as we may say we care about the future generations we really think more about the here and now and our comfort, survival. I was speaking to a young man recently and asked him if there is concern among the young at a university he attends. He said not. He said he thinks that man is brilliant enough to figure it out. Nothing like a spur in the side of the flank to get man moving. I wonder how far the spur has to dig in before man truly DOES move. xo Barbara

  3. Filip Rygg says:

    Thank you for spreading this message. I beleive that more and more people will see whats happening. Specially in Europe. 🙁

  4. Jacob Byrne says:

    The present situation in the global climate is a sign from gaya. If humans continue to wage toxic war on the earth we will meet the most powerful foe we cannot even possibly imagine…
    The wise will teach their children to be great swimmers. I have so much more to say about this and I will.
    jl

  5. Allan Barker says:

    Sadly this is only too true. We must all act now to reverse Climate change before it's too late. We must eliminate all fossil- fuel burning activity within the next 10 years. Bring on the fully electric cars and alternatives to coal, oil and gas fired power stations ASAP.

  6. Gavin says:

    I think it's really scary and I never really noticed global warming. I usually used to rub it off. Stumbled upon this link and it's a bit of a wake up call. I think there should be a world meeting in order to discuss current Global Warming issues instead of spending millions on War i.e. Iraq etc… Raise awareness!

  7. Mike Lucas says:

    Just when are all you so called experts going to accept the real facts, that climate change has less to do with pollution and all to do with the fact that what is happening is that the Earth is going through a normal and ir-reversible part of its ever changing orbit that at the moment takes it closer to the Sun at this time of year. It is the pure nature of our orbit around the Sun that governs our weather. I suggest you all read the article on the following site and stop whining about things that cannot be controlled.
    If you really want to do something about the environment and pollution, why not try to get Governments to start pushing for more Geo_thermal power stations, no-polluting and completely sustainable: http://www.astrosociety.org/education/publications/tnl/45/globe4.html

  8. ewoc says:

    Mike,
    I looked at the link you posted and it does not state what you claim it does – that greenhouse gases produced by human activities are not having a significant effect on climate.
    Of course the orbit of the Earth relative to the sun changes over time, and over thousands of years has an undeniable influence over our climate. However, the pace of climate change right now is so rapid (e.g. 7-10 degrees at the poles over the last several decades), and the buildup of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases (like methane) is so well documented (the last few years have seen an increase of 2.5% of atmospheric CO2) that you have to be pretty committed to a state of denial to ignore the data and what is happening to the world around us. Arctic people are seeing bird and animal species that they have no words in the language to describe – because these species have never been seen in the far North. And all of this has happened in a single human generation, not over hundreds or thousands of years.
    As far as what “can be controlled,” one can argue that our species is just too short-sighted and self-absorbed to take action to slow the impact of our activities on the global climate system and ultimately save our butts from disaster. I am not personally ready to believe that, but when I continue to hear voices like yours (mostly in the U.S……) I have to wonder!

  9. Mike Lucas says:

    ewoc,
    just the answer I expected!
    I can guarantee you that the Arctic sea ice WILL return, regardless of man made pollution. It will happen when the gulf Stream stops flowing, another natural event that has happened before. Jusat start doing some proper research on it, not just Greenpeace style propaganda!
    Having said that, yes, man made pollution is a problem and the easiest way of cutting it is geo-thermal energy, proven and in use in some enlightened countries like New Zealand. Everybody should be putting their energies in to pushing this natural power source, there will be no need for nuclear, coal or gas fired power stations, not even solar and wind, if only our governments will provide some incentive to private industry to develop it.

  10. Corey Larocque says:

    Gass + money = Power, and if you have enough of it you obtain “control”. Gaya, god or what ever stem of relgion people spawn their barring on life from has no effects on the facts , of the matter at hand. ( The Earth is almost too far gone already. ) Watch the film by Al Gore.. it will sum up what most people are trying to say … he gets it accros.

  11. ewoc says:

    Mike,
    The link you cite to is written by a “technical writer” and amateur astronomer, not a professional scientist. He cites church as one of his prime retirement activities. That qualifies him on the issue of climate change, no doubt.
    As for me, to the extent it makes any difference to you (which I doubt), I am an environmental lawyer, w/degree from the top-rated school in the US, and I don't follow the activities of Greenpeace. I do, however, know some of the top scientists in the US and globally personally, in quite a few fields, including a number of Nobel Prize winners. They ALL (that means ALL) agree that global heating is happening, largely due to human activities, and that it is a major problem for us. I was at a meeting last month (not focussed on climate change!) where two top scientists, one a chemist and physicist from the US, and the other a biologist from Kenya, cited climate change as the KEY problem facing us in the decades ahead.
    But I suppose you will discount all of that in favor of an amateur astronomist and some hacks paid by Exxon/Mobil, and dismiss me as the product of some Green propoganda. Nice!
    By the way, Kiwis (I travel there regularly) are not exactly doing too well in terms of greenhouse gas production per capita – slightly better than Australia, a bit better than the US (that's a tough one!), but alot worse than the EU. A nice country with nice people, but there it is.

  12. ewoc says:

    Mike,
    One more response – to your statement that Arctic Ice will return. You are correct, at least in terms of what recent research tells us. Problem is the timeframe, as it will take a hundred thousand years or more. Chances are that won't do us much good, eh?
    I suggest you read both the Stern Report (he was the Chief Economist at the World Bank whose report to the British Government on the economic impact of global heating was published last month – I can get you the link if you care to read it…) and the upcoming IPCC report, due in February.
    I dare say that if you are not willing to read well-documented work by reputable scientists (the IPCC has scientists from nearly every nation on the planet, and includes reps from Saudi Arabia and other OPEC nations; it is a consensus document and hence is VERY conservative) then your mind is already “made up” and you are not open to new information. You will note that I read the link you suggested!

  13. Lydia says:

    Ewoc, thanks for your brilliant remarks to Mike!
    Did you see Fifth Estate (CBC Newsworld) on TV November 15, “The Climate Denial Machine”. They followed a group of (self-proclaimed) scientists that argue that global warming may be a good thing and confirmed their links to the oil and coal industries. These were the same “scientists” paid by the Tobacco companies to deny that smoking causes lung cancer.
    Well, lets hope that Mike is just misguided and not purposely trying to misinform.

  14. ewoc says:

    Hi Lydia,
    Thanks…..didn' see the program, but I certainly know about misinformation campaigns on climate change!
    I have also wondered whether folks like Mike are actually working for the Competitive Enterprise Institute or some DC lobby firm that sells its soul to Exxon/Mobil. But I imagine that if he was posting in “disguise,” he would have slightly more effective arguments than a cite to an amateur astronomer. Then again, even the more “effective” arguments are looking weaker by the day…….at this point in history, ideology (or extremely narrow definitions of economic self interest) must rule the minds (and hearts) of those who profess to be climate change skeptics.

  15. Roman Bond says:

    I've always wondered what these calculations are based on? …
    20 years ago, if anyone had suggested that the Arctic would be ice-free in about 60 years (by 2040, that is)

  16. Daniel says:

    Hi! Thanks for a great site about the global warming. I also think this is a big problem that we all have to take serious. I participate in a Seo championchip were we spread the message about the globalwarming awareness2007. Hopefully it will alert some important people. Check out http://www.theglobalwarmingawareness2007.com.

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