Arctic Death Knell Foretells Abrupt Climate Change

polar bearArctic ice is disintegrating at an amazing rate, an indicator of how quickly global heating is occurring, and with grave consequences for the Arctic's absorption of heat, and the survival of polar bears [search] and humanity. One of Canada's six ancient Arctic ice shelves has cracked off [more] northern Ellesmere Island, creating an enormous 66-square-kilometre ice island and leaving a trail of icy blocks in its wake. Occurring 16 months ago, the enormity of the event is just now becoming known. The relatively rare Canadian ice shelves, located about 800 kilometers south of the North Pole, are 90 percent smaller than they were when first crossed in 1906. Meanwhile, astonishingly the melting of Arctic sea ice and precarious decline of polar bears has finally caught the attention of the Bush administration [more | more2]. The Department of the Interior has decided the iconic polar bear should be listed as “threatened” under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) because “the polar bears' habitat may literally be melting”. Last week scientists predicted that the Arctic Ocean's summer sea ice could melt entirely [search] as early as 2040 and possibly sooner. Open seas absorb more heat than sea ice which largely reflects incoming solar radiation. As a society we are so far behind on developing and implementing policy to address climate change that it is sadly, shockingly frightening.

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9 Responses

  1. Jonathan Carroll says:

    Can I, again, point out the lakes of melt waters on the surface of Antartica? Some of these, clearly visible from high orbit on Google Earth, stretch up to a thousand miles across, and are know precipitors of ice-shelf disintigration. This is urgent, people. We don't need curbed emissions or cut emissions, we need stopped emissions. NOW!

  2. Its is true – perhaps we can persuade them to take sensible action. Please readthe short post at the above url.

  3. tori says:

    hey, im very interested in geography at school and im currently #1 out of 204. This topic about global warming and endangered polar bears especially intrigues me. Why is John Howard pushing the limits of habitability
    and why is he pushing the limits of pollution? His approach is disturbing me, now he wants to build a nuclear power plant. That is an absurd suggestion by whoever said it. sorry if i sound rude, but i am making a tremendous effort to make a difference and stand for what's right and hopefully people will follow my lead. Stand up for the planet as it needs our voices combined as one. Why should the planet die at half of it's estimated age? Polar bears are now facing the fall!

  4. cody macnaughton says:

    people arnt taking gobal warming serious enough and we need to start to change and help our planet survive, i myself at 16 years of age is pretty alert and very nervous about the effects of global warming

  5. Ashton Moreira says:

    You people dont look at Global Warming seriously. I am fourteen years old and i am freaked out of my head. I dont want to die…I dont know about you people but it sounds scary to me…Take care now before its to late…Remember it can come anytime soon which meens if we dont take care now it can come rapidly and kill us very soon..Please note NOBODY WANTS TO DIE

  6. 1234 says:

    ok, let me point out that global warming is a fairy tale and the only global warming in this country is the hot air from Algordans mouth
    global warming is simply political science, every smart scientist has already proven over and over again that global warming is a load of bull, all of you stop being retarded and realise that the climate is determined over millions of years, the weather has been known to fluctuate, global warming is so much bull that it's wasting money for nothing, and its sad to see you all so unimformed

  7. Ashley says:

    I can't believe what you wrote. First of all, YOU seem to be the only one who is uninformed. You said that every smart scientist has already proven that global warming is a load of bull…, they haven't. Yes, it has been proven that climate does fluctuate, but not like it is now. I think you should do some research before you open your mouth about a topic that you clearly do not know much about. I live in Canada and I can tell you, we usually have snow by the end of October, it is now Jan. 9 and the grass is still green and it was 15 degrees 2 days ago. I think that's more than just a coincidence.

  8. kerry says:

    I first heard about Steven Hawkings talking about Earth becoming as hot as venus only at Christmas. I have been cut off from media, newspapers, Internet TV and all for over a decade…
    I remember doing an experiment in Physics at school. Putting heat into water containing a lump of ice, and demonstrating graphically how the temperature of the water stays the same until the moment all the ice is melted – THEN it starts to rise rapidly.
    This is childrens science. You can do this experiment at home with ice, water, a heat source and a thermometer….
    So, as far as I can see, Mr. Hawkins is correct… Earth doesn't seem to be heating up very fast as yet, because all the extra heat is going in to melting the ice.
    The minute that the last bit of ice is gone, the extra heat will go into the water and the water will start to heat up very quickly…
    ERGO! If we want to survive – we must not let all the ice melt… It isn't even anything to do with reduced albedo….
    A question posed to me recently by a twelve year old … Microwaves and infra-sound both cause water to heat up very quickly… Do you think that all our microwaves for phones and infra-sound from our cars and trucks are part of the reason that the ice is melting quicker than they expected???
    Sonny! I don't know. Does anyone?
    If anyone does, please E-mail me the answer…

  9. Joe Blow says:

    For all non-believers:
    There are 7 trillion tons of Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere (this gas directly relates to the global temperature)
    We put out 700 million tons of Carbon Dioxide per day. That means that we will DOUBLE the amount of Carbon Dioxide in 30 years if we keep polluting at this rate. There is absolutely NO doubt we are a major contributor to global warming.

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