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  (Source: sciencedaily.com)
Sea ice extent in the Arctic fell to 483,000 square km (186,000 square miles) on August 13, a new record

The Arctic Ocean is feeling hot, hot, hot, says new report released by the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. 
 
According to the report, sea ice extent in the Arctic dropped to a record low on August 13, and will continue dropping to new record lows by the end of the month. 
 
Sea ice extent, which measures the amount of sea ice remaining in the ocean, fell to 483,000 square km (186,000 square miles) on August 13. This was a dip from the previous record low on the same date back in 2007. 
 
But that's not the end of it. The Arctic sea ice is expected to continue melting through mid to late September, but more record lows have been predicted for the end of this month.
 
"A new daily record would be likely by the end of August," said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. "Chances are it will cross the previous record while we are still in ice retreat."
 
The news of a new record hasn't surprised many among the environmental community. This may be because the Arctic neared record lows last year, according to climate physics Professor Seymour Laxon from University College London. It almost seemed inevitable that this would happen at some point. "Rapid" melting occurred in June of this year as well with 100,000 square km melting daily.
 
However, Laxon worries that this rate of melting will adjust the prediction for an ice-free Arctic in summer. Previous reports estimated that the Arctic will have an ice-free summer in 2100 based on melting at that time, but when the 2007 low hit, this estimate was brought to the 2030-2040 range. Scientists are now concerned that this year's lows will bring that date even closer, which is problematic because the melting of sea ice means warming of the oceans. Sea ice keeps the Earth's temperature controlled.  
 
Global warming always seems to be a hot topic (pun intended). A recent controversial report released by James Hansen at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies claimed that global warming has caused hotter summers since 1980, but many question the merit of his opinions based on his position on climate change. 
 

Source: BBC News



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On the bright side
By Ringold on 8/21/2012 7:17:34 PM , Rating: 4
Having less ice will open it up as shipping lanes (China and Russia have already experimented a bit), significantly reducing the distance, and thus cost, of a large portion of global trade. Current shipping lanes go through a lot of lawless, hostile areas, whereas nobody would call Canada, Russia, Norway, Sweden or the US lawless and hostile. Fewer days at sea + lower insurance premiums = win.

Not saying its all good news, its bad news if it means Greenland's ice sheet could rapidly melt too, but at least its not all bad.




RE: On the bright side
By vignyan on 8/21/2012 7:50:58 PM , Rating: 3
well, if the Transatlantic current stops regulating the temperature due to lowered salinity, it could result in larger seas and lands of ice - aka trigger the next ice age.
I am not a climatologist, but that theory was derived from the earlier ice-age's example on Natgeo. So, might have some bearing to it.


RE: On the bright side
By mdogs444 on 8/21/2012 8:40:26 PM , Rating: 5
I don't know much about this stuff, but sure seems like you just recited the plot to The Day After Tomorrow.


RE: On the bright side
By FITCamaro on 8/21/2012 10:12:23 PM , Rating: 5
It's going to hit two days before the day after tomorrow!


RE: On the bright side
By MrBungle123 on 8/22/2012 10:56:24 AM , Rating: 4
That's today!


RE: On the bright side
By elderwilson on 8/22/2012 9:45:11 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you think the idea for the movie came from?


RE: On the bright side
By FITCamaro on 8/22/2012 5:48:35 PM , Rating: 2
Even environmentalists have called the story implausible.


RE: On the bright side
By elderwilson on 8/23/2012 8:59:08 AM , Rating: 3
I never said that the scenario is plausible; I simply stated that the theory was the inspiration for the movie not the other way around.


RE: On the bright side
By tng on 8/23/2012 10:23:12 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I never said that the scenario is plausible...
No you didn't, but there were allot of environmentalists who used it as a stick to scare people.

Also would like to say that the authors of the book that the movie was based on, believe that it could happen just as the movie portrayed it. I have heard them on a radio interview saying that it could. I think the book was called The Coming Global Superstorm.


RE: On the bright side
By Chernobyl68 on 8/22/2012 7:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
That's because that's what the plot uses as its justification. The problem is that instead of two days or so, the change would occur over a hundred years or so. But in 2100 we could be seeing a new ice age, if the Atlantic conveyor shuts down.


RE: On the bright side
By ArcliteHawaii on 8/22/2012 6:31:58 AM , Rating: 1
This is one big worry. Melting ice from Greenland (of which there are millions of tons) has a very strong likelihood of pushing the North Atlantic Current south, preventing the warm waters from entering the area around Canada, Europe, and Greenland. The lack of warm water chills Europe and Canada, throwing both into an ice age.

Conversely, global warming also increases the desertification of America's breadbasket through higher temps, lower rainfall, and drought. The end result is that you can't grow food in the USA due to the destruction of the breadbasket, and you can't grow food in Canada due to the colder temps. The result is the mother of all food shortages. Feel like paying $20 for a loaf of bread? In a few years this could be reality.


RE: On the bright side
By Dr of crap on 8/22/2012 8:14:09 AM , Rating: 1
Sorry, haven't you all been paying attention, Greenlands ice has all melted a week or so ago. Yea, it was reported by NASA that it almost all melted in 3 days was it.

Remarkably fast melting and it's from some satellite pics about 4 days apart.

Not sure why coastal flooding on a grand scale hasn't happened yet - as predicted would happen!


RE: On the bright side
By KoS on 8/22/2012 9:02:20 AM , Rating: 3
Well, there is problem with "forecasts/predictions". I live in a part of the American breadbasket.

We had one of the driest/warmest Junes and Julys on record. Which the AGW proponents used as a sign that their predictions were correct.

Yet, August has turned out to be one of the wettest/coolest on record. Funny enough, those AGW proponents have been quiet lately. Hmmm current circumstances don't fit!

We have had climatologists(Fed, state, univeristy) tells us we should expect warm and dry until Oct. Well, August has thrown a wrinkle into that predicition.

They don't know for sure what will happen. Enjoy the ride and do the best to prepare and adapt. Which is nothing new, we have dealt with it in the past and we will surely deal with it in the future.


RE: On the bright side
By RufusM on 8/22/12, Rating: 0
RE: On the bright side
By RufusM on 8/22/2012 10:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
I'll add that no climatologist worth their salt is going to try to predict the weather or climate. They can only say: Given conditions a, b and c we expect that the climate will be about x around y date. They cannot predict with any accuracy whether they will be true at that date or not.

Predicting weather and climate are fraught with problems since there are so many unknowns past a future date. The systems are so complex that unforeseen events, cause and effect, etc. are not likely to be predicted.


RE: On the bright side
By KoS on 8/22/2012 10:43:02 AM , Rating: 2
You are correct sir!

I was just bringing up that people(AGW types) are pointing to this summer and saying it fits into the overall predicitions of man-made global warming. Only a part of the summer has fit the story, while the remainder of the summer has refuted that idea.

Also I agree with your statement on climatologists. Too many thou have opened their mouth, to the public.

I find it funny we have problems accurately predicting weather days, weeks or months ahead of time. Yet we are suppose to believe people can predict the climate years, decades from now.


RE: On the bright side
By RufusM on 8/22/2012 11:09:39 AM , Rating: 2
You bet! It seems every time a warm spell comes along, it's all about global warming. When a cold spell comes along no one says anything.

It's the mindset of paying attention to what reinforces a person's beliefs and not challenging them.


RE: On the bright side
By MozeeToby on 8/22/2012 12:03:38 PM , Rating: 2
That's because it's statistics, not any one day. Statistically, the number, size, and severity of 'extreme weather events' (drought, heatwave, etc) was very, very high this year. It is statistically unlikely that those events would have occurred if the global climate was unchanged from 20 years ago. But again, that's statistically unlikely. Until the statistics pile up for a few more years there is still some question to the numbers but a cold, wet august isn't going to be enough to erase the outlier from the pool.


RE: On the bright side
By KoS on 8/22/2012 1:00:21 PM , Rating: 2
I find it interesting you use the 20 year mark.

The lack of rain and high heat the first two months of summer. This is the first time since 88 have we had such a hot and dry period in those two months. Just over 20 years ago.

Ahh yes the summer of 88, the same summer Hansen's little dog and pony show before Congress.

Our August, is the wettest and coolest since 93.

So called extremee weather events have happened before and will happen again and again and again....


RE: On the bright side
By Manch on 8/22/2012 5:06:12 PM , Rating: 2
Didn't something happen in the summer of 69 too?


RE: On the bright side
By KoS on 8/23/2012 8:20:46 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, yes it did! But then again....how would you know? I don't know you! :)


RE: On the bright side
By DFSolley on 8/22/2012 11:58:16 AM , Rating: 3
When I first moved to Florida, we were told that the lack of hurricanes was a sign of AGW. Then we had a year with 4 major hurricanes... and that was a sure sign of AGW.


RE: On the bright side
By tng on 8/22/2012 12:28:45 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
...the desertification of America's breadbasket through higher temps, lower rainfall, and drought.
All things that have been happening for at least a thousand years or more anyhow, even if we are accelerating it, it is going to happen.

There used to be lakes in allot of the inland desert areas of So Cal 150 years ago that are now just desert, some of them used to have paddle wheel ships to cross them in the gold rush days. This happened long before cars and huge pollution. Why do you think Area 51 was chosen? It had a huge dry lake bed that was ideal for landing planes.


RE: On the bright side
By MadMan007 on 8/21/2012 10:22:10 PM , Rating: 3
That will be perfect for receiving goods at the seaport of Ottawa.


RE: On the bright side
By muhahaaha on 8/21/2012 10:59:58 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed, why must this be seen as a negative? Perhaps this will be beneficial. I'm not saying that we shouldn't try to reduce our impact on the environment, but maybe this isn't such a horrible development.


RE: On the bright side
By automedonte on 8/22/12, Rating: -1
RE: On the bright side
By ArcliteHawaii on 8/22/2012 6:49:03 AM , Rating: 2
It's difficult to predict the precise negative effects of climate change. The north channel may open up, or it may freeze over once the melting freshwater of Greenland prevents temperature distribution. Certainly some things are fairly predictable like the desertification of the American breadbasket. Also, increased and northerly spread of tropical diseases throughout the USA such as malaria, west nile, and many others creating a series of epidemics in a country not prepared to handle such diseases.

This precludes utter disasters such as all the ice in Greenland melting, a process which is accelerating (http://www.meltfactor.org/blog/?p=476). Such an event would cause the ocean to rise 20 feet across the globe. The effects of this would be catastrophic. The land millions of people currently live on would be flooded. Every single port in the world would be inundated and have to be rebuilt. Countless freshwater lenses would be infiltrated with salt water rendering them undrinkable and unusable. It would cost tens of trillions of dollars to recover from such a problem.

The truth is that humans have never lived in a climate of 370 ppm CO2. We just aren't adapted for that. It's extremely risky to raise the temp, and foolish to think everything will be okay.


RE: On the bright side
By Dr of crap on 8/22/2012 8:16:04 AM , Rating: 1
UH, sorry it was reported by NASA that almost all of Greenlands ice had melted, and flooding HASN'T happened yet!


RE: On the bright side
By kattanna on 8/22/2012 1:39:06 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
UH, sorry it was reported by NASA that almost all of Greenlands ice had melted, and flooding HASN'T happened yet!


oh my.. please pass what your smoking as it has to be pretty good


RE: On the bright side
By JediJeb on 8/22/2012 2:18:46 PM , Rating: 4
That study reported here was discussed pretty well and what NASA was showing was not a total loss of ice, even though their graphic made it look that way. They showed in white the areas that were not melting faster and in red the areas that had, which made the before and after look like all the white "ice" had disappeared.

What they said was a majority of the ice sheet had experienced melting, which can mean simply there was water standing on the top of it, not that it had melted.


RE: On the bright side
By PaFromFL on 8/22/2012 8:22:13 AM , Rating: 1
This might also open up Greenland to farming. Global warming presents more opportunities than problems. It's global cooling that is the big disaster.


RE: On the bright side
By automedonte on 8/22/2012 3:09:39 PM , Rating: 2
Sure, why not?
Let's open Greenland to farming and let's close every other place all over the world.
It's a win-win situation


RE: On the bright side
By PaFromFL on 8/22/2012 4:49:58 PM , Rating: 2
Sorry, I forgot to mention Siberia, Alaska, and northern Canada. Evolution came up with legs to access greener pastures. Human history is full of mass migrations. To be fair, it is probably hard for couch potatoes to appreciate the opportunities that climate change (or any change) presents.


RE: On the bright side
By automedonte on 8/23/2012 6:54:16 AM , Rating: 2
So, your idea is to take a frozen country, removing the ice, and open it up to farming, like if global warming were a programmable room thermostat in which you can set the temperature you want and keep it all the time you want.


RE: On the bright side
By Samus on 8/22/2012 4:55:18 PM , Rating: 2
Ringold, thats all very interesting, I never thought about that. Too bad we can't build up some ice on the south pole to stabilize things, you know, where nobody gives a hoot.


"There is a single light of science, and to brighten it anywhere is to brighten it everywhere." -- Isaac Asimov














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