North Pole Could Be Ice Free in 2008
April 27, 2008 8:52pm CST
You know when climate change is biting hard when instead of a vast expanse of snow the North Pole is a vast expanse of water. This year, for the first time, Arctic scientists are preparing for that possibility. "The set-up for this summer is disturbing," says Mark Serreze, of the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). A number of factors have this year led to most of the Arctic ice being thin and vulnerable as it enters its summer melting season. In September 2007, Arctic sea ice reached a record low, opening up the fabled North-West passage that runs from Greenland to Alaska. The ice expanded again over the winter and in March 2008 covered a greater area than it had in March 2007. Although this was billed as good news in many media sources, the trend since 1978 is on the decline. Arctic ice at its maximum in March, but that maximum is declining by 44,000 km2 per year on average, the NSIDC has calculated (see graph, top right). That corresponds to an area roughly twice the size of New Jersey. What is more, the extent of the ice is only half the picture. Satellite images show that most of the Arctic ice at the moment is thin, young ice that has only been around since last autumn (see picture, right). Thin ice is far more vulnerable than thick ice that has piled up over several years. http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=4728737&page=1 Can you believe this? No ICE in the north pole!
2 people like this
28 Apr 08
Hi Icy-that is scary though it has been predicted that certain states in america in the uk london and other places will be under water in however many years to come-it doesn't surprise me if the north pole is thawed by then!!-blessings littleowl
• Dominican Republic
28 Apr 08
But the terrible reality is that this water in the form of ice has to go somewhere, i.e. if it stays as water then the sea levels rise. This isn't good for all those low lying areas. It will also change the seas temperatures and this will have an enormous affect upon the global weather patterns which rely on the constant sea temperatures. And still they say that there is no proof of global warming, hmmm. Thanks for sharing this with us icy.
• United States
28 Apr 08
I'm not surprised at all. In fact, I've seen this coming for awhile now. I'm afraid Earth is too far gone to really stop anything. Sure, we may be able to slow the process, but stopping the process just will not occur unless our society becomes completely primitive again for several long years.