Our Friends at Earth Family Alpha posted an article about the retreating polar icecap on Friday. It is à propos as at least one of us attended a screening of An Inconvenient Truth last night (in the massive MoveOn.org grassroots organization of nation-wide house parties).
I was most struck by being completely unsurprised by the movie. It’s not that I knew all the facts that Al Gore cited, but rather that none of them were shocking to me. I am also gravely pessimistic about the final outcome. I prematurely grieve for my three grandchildren, because I do not think they will have joyful lives as their generation tries to cope with the wreckage of the “petroleum age,” if I may be so bold as to call it that. The movie prompts me to want to insist on carpooling with someone from work, but I would bet a week’s pay that not one person will take me up on it. I see a dismal future, but I will ask tomorrow about carpooling anyway. Richard Jehn
Here is a rather bleak prediction for Santa and the rest of his elves.
Abrupt ice retreat could produce ice-free arctic summers by 2040
The recent retreat of Arctic sea ice is likely to accelerate so rapidly that the Arctic Ocean could become nearly devoid of ice during summertime as early as 2040, according to new research published in the December 12 issue of Geophysical Research Letters.
The study, by a team of scientists from the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR), the University of Washington, and McGill University, analyzes the impact of greenhouse gas emissions on the Arctic. Scenarios run on supercomputers show that the extent of sea ice each September could be reduced so abruptly that, within about 20 years, it may begin retreating four times faster than at any time in the observed record.
“We have already witnessed major losses in sea ice, but our research suggests that the decrease over the next few decades could be far more dramatic than anything that has happened so far,” says NCAR scientist Marika Holland, the study’s lead author. “These changes are surprisingly rapid.”
The research was funded by the National Science Foundation, NCAR’s principal sponsor, as well as by NASA.Arctic sea ice has retreated in recent years, especially in the late summer, when ice thickness and area are at a minimum.
Read the rest here.