Friday, October 06, 2006

Arctic ice

There's more bad news, I'm afraid, about the arctic ice. Take a look at these excerpts from an article in The Independent sent to me by Frank Ford:

Sea ice in the Arctic last month melted to its second lowest monthly minimum in the 29-year record of satellite measurements.

Scientists at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) in Colorado said the total surface area covered by sea ice during September was smaller than in any previous year apart from 2005, when it reached an all-time record minimum. And it was only a sudden change to cool and stormy weather in August that prevented another record low being set this September, they said.

"At this rate, the Arctic Ocean will have no ice in September by the year 2060," said Julienne Strove, one of the NSIDC's research scientists
Arctic sea ice acts like an insulating lid on the northernmost ocean, reflecting sunlight and preventing the water from absorbing heat and warming up.

Scientists fear that as more and more sea ice is lost, a "positive feedback" will kick in, with the Arctic Ocean absorbing more sunlight, which will in turn cause the loss of more sea ice.

What can I say but that this is happening and we need to know?

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