NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: “At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions.”
Because climate change in the Arctic region is occurring faster and to a greater extent than anywhere else, the Arctic Ocean may be ice-free for a short period of time as early as the summer of 2015, according to the 2009 Arctic Marine Shipping Assessment Report completed by the eight Arctic Council Nations.
MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2008
Polar ice cap melting away in 2008 ?
The latest salvo comes courtesy of Xinhua, which reports that Olav Orheim, the head of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat, is placing his money on this summer. Noting that its ice sheet had reached a historical low of 3m sq. km last summer – it covered around 7.5m sq. km as recently as 2000 – Orheim told Xinhua that “if Norway’s average temperature this year equals that in 2007, the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away.” Barring this disaster, Orheim predicted that excess carbon dioxide emissions and higher average temperatures would unpredictably alter the region’s fragile ecosystems. On a separate note, he said that Asia would likely be hardest hit by rising sea levels, estimating that a one meter rise would affect “nearly 100 million people on an area of 800,000 square km in Asia and direct economic loss will amount to 400 billion U.S. dollars.”
December 15, 2009
There are many kinds of truth. Al Gore was poleaxed by an inconvenient one yesterday.
The former US Vice-President, who became an unlikely figurehead for the green movement after narrating the Oscar-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth, became entangled in a new climate change “spin” row.
Mr Gore, speaking at the Copenhagen climate change summit, stated the latest research showed that the Arctic could be completely ice-free in five years.
In his speech, Mr Gore told the conference: “These figures are fresh. Some of the models suggest to Dr [Wieslav] Maslowski that there is a 75 per cent chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.”
Global warming is a direct threat to biodiversity in all corners of the world, but nowhere are its effects more visible than in the Arctic, where the impacts of the climate crisis are hitting earlier and with greater intensity than anywhere else. Winter temperatures have increased by almost 10 degrees Fahrenheit since 1949. And by the end of this century, the Far North’s annual average temperatures are expected to rise 9 degrees or more over land and up to 13 degrees over water.
We can see the frightening effects of the Arctic’s rising temperatures in the quick and devastating melt of the region’s sea ice. In 2008, Arctic summer sea ice reached the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era — and winter sea ice reached its lowest recorded extent in 2011. Now climate scientists say the Arctic could be completely ice free in the summer by 2012.
A DEATH SENTENCE FOR SPECIES
With its unforgiving winds, tremendous cold, winters that never see the sun, and summers that never see the end of it, the Arctic seems like a hard place to eke out a living. Yet it’s home to highly specialized species that have evolved to make the most of their harsh environment, including its vast expanses of sea ice. Without enough sea ice, the entire Arctic ecosystem will unravel and its species will die.
the summer melt could lead to ice-free Arctic seas by 2016 – “plus or minus three years”.
There are credible scientists who are now predicting an ice-free (summer) arctic by as early as 2013. The implications are mind boggling. The impact on wildlife, humans and the rest of the world’s weather patterns is impossible to predict for specific areas and to exact detail.