Monday, 27 August 2012

A new low in the Arctic

Arctic sea ice has hit a new record low according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSDIC), breaking the previous record low set in 2007.  This is widely seen as a signal for long term global warming. 
One of the most worrying points of the NSIDC press release is this quote from NSIDC Director  Mark Serreze "The previous record, set in 2007, occurred because of near perfect summer weather for melting ice. Apart from one big storm in early August, weather patterns this year were unremarkable. The ice is so thin and weak now, it doesn't matter how the winds blow."

This seems to be due to the loss of multiyear ice and the change to  thinner seasonal ice formation, which suggests that this trend of summer sea ice loss will continue and possibly accelerate leading to an ice free Arctic (at least seasonaly) in the not too distant future. 
This is very worrying as regards the methane clathrate, and also with regards to the effect on weather systems/oceanic currents which remain to be seen.

It seems to me that we are standing on the precipice, we may even be at a tipping point and yet we just "carry on as normal" I find this very difficult to understand. 

We have not adapted our infrastructure, we are drilling in the arctic.  Our politicians and the  oil executives cannot plead ignorance, yet beside a few heroic activists, where is the rage? 

Maybe I despair too much and maybe we will all somehow pull it together, only time will tell. 

No comments:

Post a Comment