Free Newsletters - Space News - Defense Alert - Environment Report - Energy Monitor
. Earth Science News .




ICE WORLD
In climate landmark, Arctic ice melts to record low
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) Aug 27, 2012


The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has melted to its smallest point ever in a milestone that may show that worst-case forecasts on climate change are coming true, US scientists said Monday.

The extent of ice observed on Sunday broke a record set in 2007 and will likely melt further with several weeks of summer still to come, according to data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and the NASA space agency.

The government-backed ice center, based at the University of Colorado at Boulder, said in a statement that the decline in summer Arctic sea ice "is considered a strong signal of long-term climate warming."

The sea ice fell to 4.10 million square kilometers (1.58 million square miles), some 70,000 square kilometers (27,000 square miles) less than the earlier record charted on September 18, 2007, the center said.

Scientists said the record was all the more striking as 2007 had near perfect climate patterns for melting ice, but that the weather this year was unremarkable other than a storm in early August.

Michael E. Mann, a lead author of a major UN report in 2001 on climate change, said the latest data reflected that scientists who were criticized as alarmists may have shown "perhaps too great a degree of reticence."

"I think, unfortunately, this is an example that points more to the worst-case scenario side of things," said Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.

"There are a number of areas where in fact climate change seems to be proceeding faster and with a greater magnitude than what the models predicted," Mann told AFP.

"The sea ice decline is perhaps the most profound of those cautionary tales because the models have basically predicted that we shouldn't see what we're seeing now for several decades," he added.

Arctic ice is considered vital for the planet as it reflects heat from the sun back into space, helping keep down the planet's temperatures.

The Arctic region is now losing about 155,000 square kilometers (60,000 square miles) of ice annually, the equivalent of a US state every two years, said Walt Meier, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

"It used to be the Arctic ice cover was a kind of big block of ice. It would melt a little bit from the edges but it was pretty solid," Meier told reporters on a conference call.

"Now it's like crushed ice," he said. "At least parts of the Arctic have become like a giant slushie, and that's a lot easier to melt and melt more quickly."

The planet has charted a slew of record temperatures in recent years, with 13 of the warmest years ever taking place in the past decade and a half, along with extreme weather ranging from severe wildfires in North America to major flooding in Asia.

Researchers have also reported a dramatic melt this summer on the ice sheet in Greenland, which could have major consequences for the planet by raising sea levels.

Scientists believe that climate change is caused by human emissions of carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions.

But efforts to regulate emissions have faced strong political resistance in several nations including the United States, where industry groups have said that regulations would be too costly for the economy.

Kumi Naidoo, the executive director of Greenpeace who on Monday intercepted a Russian ship in the Arctic, said the ice melt showed that the planet was "warming up at a rate that puts billions of people's future in jeopardy."

"These figures are not the result of some freak of nature but the effects of man-made global warming caused by our reliance on dirty fossil fuels," he said in a statement.

Shaye Wolf of the Center for Biological Diversity pressure group called the record ice melt "a profound -- and profoundly depressing -- moment in the history of our planet."

The melt has rapidly changed the politics and economics of the Arctic region, with shipping companies increasingly eager to save time by sailing through the once-forbidding waters.

Data released Monday by the Washington-based Center for Global Development found that nations including China, India and the United States were reducing the intensity of their carbon emissions but that the effort was overwhelmed by the surge in power consumption in developing nations.

.


Related Links
Beyond the Ice Age






Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle




Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News





ICE WORLD
Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks To New Low In Satellite Era
Greenbelt MD (SPX) Aug 28, 2012
The extent of the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean has shrunk. According to scientists from NASA and the NASA-supported National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colo., the amount is the smallest size ever observed in the three decades since consistent satellite observations of the polar cap began. The extent of Arctic sea ice on Aug. 26, as measured by the Special Sensor Micr ... read more


ICE WORLD
Quarry explosion kills nine in China: media

Green Climate Fund to hold next meeting in South Korea

Tanker-bus crash inferno kills 36 in China

China bridge collapse kills three

ICE WORLD
Samsung vows 'all measures' to keep products in US

'Frankenstein' computer program created

Southampton physicists join search for hidden magnetic states

Is This Real or Just Fantasy? ONR Augmented-Reality Initiative Progresses

ICE WORLD
How methane becomes fish food

Desalination plant needed in Gaza by 2020: minister

MBL Scientists Discover Nerves Control Iridescence in Squid's Remarkable "Electric Skin"

How ocean currents affect global climate is a question oceanographer may be close to answering

ICE WORLD
In climate landmark, Arctic ice melts to record low

Arctic Sea Ice Shrinks To New Low In Satellite Era

Antarctic ice sheet quakes shed light on ice movement and earthquakes

Arctic ice melts to record low: US researchers

ICE WORLD
Plants unpack winter coats when days get shorter

A Greener Way to Fertilize Nursery Crops

Chinese buyer vows to honour French wine heritage

Access to water key for food security: FAO chief

ICE WORLD
S. Korea on alert as major typhoon Bolaven nears

Twelve dead, 10 missing as typhoon pounds S. Korea

Floods kill 10, displace 20,000 in Nigeria after dam opened

7.3 quake off El Salvador, no injuries or damage

ICE WORLD
AMISOM troops retake Somalia's Marka port

Sudan, South Sudan dispute Abyei region

EU warns 'response' on Gambia executions

U.S. AFRICOM wants more guard partnerships

ICE WORLD
Electronics, living tissue, merged in lab

Man mistakes son for monkey, shoots him dead

More Clues About Why Chimps and Humans Are Genetically Different

More sophisticated wiring, not just bigger brain, helped humans evolve beyond chimps




The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement