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2007 09 06
Arctic Ice Gone In 23 Years?
NASA's QuikSCAT satellite, between 2004 and 2005 the Arctic lost an unprecedented 14 percent of its perennial sea ice (shown in white)—some 280,000 square miles (725,000 square kilometers), or an area the size of Texas.

Here is a prediction that should scare just about everyone no matter what their political bent. David Adam of the Guardian Newspaper writes:
So much ice has melted this summer that the north-west passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the north-east passage along Russia's Arctic coast could open later this month. If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030
For a typical Canadian who is well acquainted with northern winters, the melting of the Arctic ice pack challenges our visceral understanding of the world around us. Yet, it is true - so true that last week a chuck of the ice pack the size of England disappeared into ocean waters.
Dr Serreze (Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver) said: "If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice, then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our children's lifetimes."
You don't have to be a climatologist to understand that this accelerating trend is bad for the future of human life on earth. Of course, in cosmic terms our existence is a blip on the evolutionary radar. Life came before us and life will come after us. But we as a species are singularly unique in our ability to so quickly destroy the environment that sustains us. At least the dinosaurs could blame an asteroid for their demise. Humans, on the other hand, seem to have inherited the lemming gene that prompts us to throw ourselves willingly over the cliff of ecological disaster towards species extiction.

I've heard that we have ten years to make the kinds of changes required to slow - not stop - the global warming juggernaut. Given the inability of our current government to even accept there is a problem, I am pessimistic about the quality of life the future holds for our children. Please, someone explain to me why I am wrong.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 09/06 at 12:25 PM

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