Thursday, September 14, 2006

Skating On Thin Ice

NASA's QuickScat Satellite team reported yesterday that perennial sea ice that normally survives the summer melt season has abruptly shrunk by 14% between 2004 and 2005. The changes were most pronounced in the East Arctic Ocean, which lost almost 50% of its perennial ice over the same period.
"Recent changes in Arctic sea ice are rapid and dramatic," said Son Nghiem, The JPL team leader. "If the seasonal ice in the East Arctic Ocean were to be removed by summer melt, a vast ice-free area would open up. Such an ice-free area would have profound impacts on the environment, as well as on marine transportation and commerce."

Researchers indicate that if the sea ice cover continues to decline, the surrounding ocean will get warmer, further accelerating summer ice melts and impeding fall freeze-ups. This longer melt season will, in turn, further diminish the Arctic ice cover.

You would think that at some point, our government would realize that they have sided with a dwindling pool of scientific outliers in casting doubt upon anthropogenic warming trends. How long do you think they can continue to oppose the growing library of almost indisputable hard data and the almost completely unified scientific community outside of the few contrarians that happen to support their political goals? How high do you think the oceans will need to rise before they accept that in the end, reality and Mother Nature will trump politics?

Original Nasa Release.

No comments: