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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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What if.......
By eggster007 on 8/22/2012 5:39:01 AM , Rating: 1
Of course it's easy for us all as people to brush this off as another inconclusive assumption that we're all doomed.

My generation will be okay regardless, but our children and our childrens children are most likley going to pay for our distinct lack of action based on an assumed certainty that this is nothing but a money spinner for someone somewhere.

But! what if reports like this are right (or cary enough truth) and that without change everything is not going to be okay?

What if these ecological phenoms are actually a pre-cursor to a more serious series of events that can not be reversed?

Humans are of course adaptable but we don't like big changes and these larger changes normally come at a cost....

So instead of gambling that all this means nothing (or everything), why not start making small changes to our lifestyles now so changes in the future are not so big and not so difficult or may not even be required, if life has taught me anything it's that it's better to be safe, than sorry.

RE: What if.......
By ArcliteHawaii on 8/22/2012 7:09:08 AM , Rating: 3
Dude, your idea will never work! It makes too much sense!

We can make a difference. I'm extremely careful about how much electricity I use. I drive a small, efficient car. I used to bike to work, now I work from home with no commute. I live in the tropics, but never use my A/C, etc.

But I fear it will come to naught. The Chinese are hell bent on burning coal. The Americans can't bear to give up their SUVs or 4000 sq ft homes that need to be heated. Brazil is razing the rainforest (a major cooling influence) to the tune of 1000s of acres a day. Everyone has their little piece, but noone looks at the big picture.

"We don't know how to make a $500 computer that's not a piece of junk." -- Apple CEO Steve Jobs

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