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[8/11] North Pole to be Ice-free in 5 Years

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  • [8/11] North Pole to be Ice-free in 5 Years

    Ice at the North Pole melted at an unprecedented rate last week, with leading scientists warning that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer by 2013.

    Satellite images show that ice caps started to disintegrate dramatically several days ago as storms over Alaska's Beaufort Sea began sucking streams of warm air into the Arctic.

    As a result, scientists say that the disappearance of sea ice at the North Pole could exceed last year's record loss. More than a million square kilometres melted over the summer of 2007 as global warming tightened its grip on the Arctic. But such destruction could now be matched, or even topped, this year.

    'It is a neck-and-neck race between 2007 and this year over the issue of ice loss,' said Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre in Boulder, Colorado. 'We thought Arctic ice cover might recover after last year's unprecedented melting - and indeed the picture didn't look too bad last month. Cover was significantly below normal, but at least it was up on last year.

    'But the Beaufort Sea storms triggered steep ice losses and it now looks as if it will be a very close call indeed whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for ice cover over the Arctic. We will only find out when the cover reaches its minimum in mid-September.'

    This startling loss of Arctic sea ice has major meteorological, environmental and ecological implications. The region acts like a giant refrigerator that has a strong effect on the northern hemisphere's meteorology. Without its cooling influence, weather patterns will be badly disrupted, including storms set to sweep over Britain.

    At the same time, creatures such as polar bears and seals - which use sea ice for hunting and resting - face major threats. Similarly, coastlines will no longer be insulated by ice from wave damage and will suffer erosion, as is already happening in Alaska.

    Other environmental changes are likely to follow. Without sea ice to bolster them, land ice - including glaciers - could topple into the ocean and raise global sea levels, threatening many low-lying areas, including Bangladesh and scores of Pacific islands. In addition, the disappearance of reflective ice over the Arctic means that solar radiation would no longer be bounced back into space, thus heating the planet even further.

    On top of these issues, there are fears that water released by the melting caps will disrupt the Gulf Stream, while an ice-free Arctic in summer offers new opportunities for oil and gas drilling there - and for political disputes over territorial rights.

    What really unsettles scientists, however, is their inability to forecast precisely what is happening in the Arctic, the part of the world most vulnerable to the effects of global warming. 'When we did the first climate change computer models, we thought the Arctic's summer ice cover would last until around 2070,' said Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University. 'It is now clear we did not understand how thin the ice cap had already become - for Arctic ice cover has since been disappearing at ever increasing rates. Every few years we have to revise our estimates downwards. Now the most detailed computer models suggest the Arctic's summer ice is going to last for only a few more years - and given what we have seen happen last week, I think they are probably correct.'

    The most important of these computer studies of ice cover was carried out a few months ago by Professor Wieslaw Maslowski of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. Using US navy supercomputers, his team produced a forecast which indicated that by 2013 there will be no ice in the Arctic - other than a few outcrops on islands near Greenland and Canada - between mid-July and mid-September.

    'It does not really matter whether 2007 or 2008 is the worst year on record for Arctic ice,' Maslowski said. 'The crucial point is that ice is clearly not building up enough over winter to restore cover and that when you combine current estimates of ice thickness with the extent of the ice cap, you get a very clear indication that the Arctic is going to be ice-free in summer in five years. And when that happens, there will be consequences.'

    This point was backed by Serreze. 'The trouble is that sea ice is now disappearing from the Arctic faster than our ability to develop new computer models and to understand what is happening there. We always knew it would be the first region on Earth to feel the impact of climate change, but not at anything like this speed. What is happening now indicates that global warming is occurring far earlier than any of us expected.'

    sorry guys but were fucked

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/environmen...echange.arctic

  • #2
    Damn thats crazy.

    Comment


    • #3
      uh oh. It would suck if its our generation that gets wiped out, seriously how unlucky is that..meh had some good times with youtube atleast.

      Comment


      • #4
        well shit

        Comment


        • #5
          so what happens when this shit melts, we gonna have some flooding problems?
          Originally posted by FunkySuicideGirl
          Ima sucker when some suck my lip or bite in it
          Originally posted by Syko Squidge
          ^
          fuck off you gay piece of cunt
          Originally posted by Otto
          That shit is fuck,

          Comment


          • #6
            Am I the only one who's not surprised? I mean like if you've been paying attention to science in the past few years this isn't that shocking.

            Unlike our President who refuses to open emails that the EPA sends him about shit like this, I like to stay informed about how badly we've destroyed our environment so that I can make an effort to stop the destruction.

            As far as what this means, the ocean level will rise, but so slightly that you wouldn't notice without accurate measurements I'm sure scientists will take. The main problem is that our weather is greatly effected by the ice on the North Pole, it effects several major wind and ocean currents, and we have no way of predicting how our global climate will change once the ice is gone. What we do know is that the entire global climate will be affected and local climates will change drastically, ecosystems will be changed or destroyed, animals will be forced to migrate or in some cases die from the decimation of their natural habitats .
            Last edited by -Sil-; 08-10-2008, 11:57 PM.
            Clean Since: 12.10.08

            Comment


            • #7
              gud. ive had it up to here with all this smart ass ice

              Comment


              • #8
                All I want to know if it will be warmer in Michigan in Jan/Feb? If yes then fuck it let that shit melt.. I'm totally willing to sacrifice polar bears n whatever else animals live up there for the ability to walk outside without the kinda cold that makes your eyes water n freeze immediately.

                Im all selfish like that.
                Originally posted by Dirty F
                99% of the time I'm as clueless as everyone else.

                Comment


                • #9
                  the north pole is gunna become the south pole n south pole gunna become the north pole
                  http://www.myeasyshopping.com
                  SHOPPING MADE EASY FOR EVERYONE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ^
                    tru [email protected]

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      great now the usa can take it over, drill for some oil and sell that shit and get our economy back
                      Originally posted by Tanner
                      at least youre not hungover and have to sneak out a fat 30 yr old white bitch who you were banging in your parents house last night.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        ^
                        hooray for the USA!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          ^ hurray for yayo, wait just kidding
                          Originally posted by Tanner
                          at least youre not hungover and have to sneak out a fat 30 yr old white bitch who you were banging in your parents house last night.

                          Comment


                          • #14

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by midwestwitch View Post
                              All I want to know if it will be warmer in Michigan in Jan/Feb? If yes then fuck it let that shit melt.. I'm totally willing to sacrifice polar bears n whatever else animals live up there for the ability to walk outside without the kinda cold that makes your eyes water n freeze immediately.

                              Im all selfish like that.
                              It's still probably not as bad as Edmonton in the winter. It even fucking snowed in the middle or even maybe towards the end of last spring here...
                              P!

                              Comment

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