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Arctic Sea Ice Dips Below Ominous Milestone

Environment  (tags: animals, climate-change, CO2emissions, destruction, ecosystems, environment, globalwarming, greenhousegases, habitatdestruction, healthconditions, oceans, pollution, science, trees, water, weather, wildlife, world )

- 2162 days ago -
Ice thickness data (above) show the Beaufort's sea ice to be thin--3 to 6 feet (1 to 2 meters). That's the signature of first-year ice. Which means it will be prone to melting completely this summer. Sorry, polar bears, bearded seals, ringed seals, -->

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Sue H (7)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:05 am

Kit B (276)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:10 am
Photo: Arctic Ocean, 14 June 2012, sea ice opening at Beaufort and Laptev seas: NASA

This week the extent of Arctic sea ice dipped below the extent for 2007, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). As you may remember, the 2007 season holds the record for lowest Arctic sea-ice extent in recorded history.

Walt Meier at NSIDC tells me the melt is accelerating, notably in the Bering Sea, where higher than normal winter ice hung around two to four weeks longer than average. But it's thawing fast now.

The Beaufort Sea north of Alaska and Canada and the Laptev Sea north of Siberia are also melting quickly. "We don't normally see ice opening so fast in those areas," says Meier. "This is an indication that the ice there is pretty thin."

As you can see from the satellite mosaic of the Arctic for today, 14 June (above), the rapidly melting Laptev Sea lies at the downstream end of the mighty Lena River in Siberia. The Beaufort Sea lies at the downstream end of Canada's mightiest river, the MacKenzie River (delta not visible)—where May temperatures rose well above the 20th-century average (see last image, below).

By Julia Whitty | Blue Marble - Mother Jones |

This article is filled with photographs and charts that give an excellent understanding of the situation we all are facing. Change to the Earth's albedo is a powerful driver of climate. When the planet's albedo or reflectivity increases, more incoming sunlight is reflected back into space. This has a cooling effect on global temperatures. Conversely, a drop in albedo warms the planet. A change of just 1% to the Earth's albedo has a radiative effect of 3.4 Wm-2, comparable to the forcing from a doubling of CO2. So is it unreasonable to wonder if albedo might have something to do with this global warming caper?

The albedo effect is almost exclusively locked within our frozen oceans, and we are losing them.

Cheryl B (64)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:13 am

Susan Williams (6)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:14 am
New North: The World in 2050 by Laurence C. Smith (Feb 1, 2011)
Book recommendation!

Terry V (30)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:14 am
Very sadly noted

Arielle S (313)
Monday June 18, 2012, 11:19 am
So, let's send all the politicians who keep voting for the things that cause global warming to live there - (preferably Siberia.)

Ann K (112)
Monday June 18, 2012, 12:04 pm
Sadly not enough people care, and those that do are attacked.

David C (131)
Monday June 18, 2012, 1:23 pm
just went to submit this and I was blocked so THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for sharing this potentially dangerous bad news....

Yvonne White (229)
Monday June 18, 2012, 2:45 pm
Knowing that politicians aren't going to help stop or even slow cllimate change - I've embraced the eventual result & am planning to market Southern Illinois as the "New Gulf" - I figure I should be in a position to lease "beach front" property in about 10 years!;) Maybe That will help with retirement..:)

William K (308)
Monday June 18, 2012, 9:05 pm
I've recently heard that algae has been observed growing under sea ice in the Baltic Sea (I think it was) for the first time, because the ice has become so thin that sunlight gets through and the algae can photosynthesize.

Shelly Peterson (213)
Monday June 18, 2012, 9:43 pm
I am surround by "climate change deniers, at work....I JUST WANT TO SCREAM LOUDER THAN A WOLF, HOWLING AT THE MOON...IN TEARS AND FRUSTRATION!!!....SO i KEEP SIGNING EVERY PETITIONT i CAN FIND THAT IS LOGICAL..AND KEEP TALKING, SHARING AND TRYING TO EDUCATE....Today, when sharing some info with Ken,.about what he said about our weather and I said, .."this is like the 3rd El Nina in a row..not okay and more proof of global warming.."..I threw out a few factual stats...and He just sneered at me and said, "I do not Care about anybody kids will get through it, that is all I care about.."..and he literally SNEERED at me like, like a hyenah....and I just bowed my head, shook it and looked him straight in the eye, and said..."that is the WHOLE POINT!!!....they may not, when they are old..and what of the grandkids you WANT!?!"...he stormed the rain clouds stormed in again..but did not dropp any rain....El Nina, 3 years in a row, in Tacoma Washington, USA????...NNNNOOOO, but just like it....and NOT okay, for our enviroment, crops, gardens....Global Warming is REAL and more than apparent, for anyone like myself, that it has been vital to my activitys and a few proffessions, in the past!

Joy W (103)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 5:43 am
Noted, thanks.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 6:40 am
protect life, prosecute those that seek to destroy our shared home and our fellow beings
life has value beyond measure
Peace and Love
*********** WALL OF SHAME ************
┬┴┬┴┬┴ The Wall ┬┴┬┴┬┴┬┴┬┴
DEMOLISH ------>>>>> THIS WALL !!!!

Bob hardly here P (394)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 7:29 am

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 3:15 pm
In ten years, there will likely be no sea ice in the arctic at all.

Sheryl G (363)
Tuesday June 19, 2012, 6:43 pm
Shelly copy stories like this and give it to the naysayers. Maybe eventually one of them will wake up. We do not want to be in the place of I told you so, the I told you so place isn't going to be a good place to be.

The Elite Families that have control of this fossil fuel disaster have bought and paid off the elected officials. One can't get in office anymore if they are going to stand up against these special interest groups that only see gold in front of their eyes, and to hell with the destruction of the world, as long as they live in the lap of luxury today. The fools may even have convinced themselves of their own lies.....they are so sick in the head.

We could of been off these foul fuels a long time ago, but the inventors of water powered vehicles keep ending up dead and their patterns either bought up and sat on or stolen, the latter are the dead inventors that would not sell. There is no way these families that receive their wealth until the last drop is obtained and they are in their own time ready to change, when they buy up the next wave of energy source and how to implement. The only thing, is by the time they want to do that, it may be too late for the world. One would think that they had another planet to send their own offspring and themselves to. Perhaps they do, maybe that reality has been hid from us as well, who knows.

Susan S (187)
Wednesday June 20, 2012, 8:06 pm
I highly recommend two documentaries by Mark Terry "The Polar Explorer" and "The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning" for an excellent discussion of melting arctic and antarctic ice and its implications for our planet. Thanks for posting this Kit.
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