Major Loss In Arctic Sea Ice-It Affects You

By: JanMoore , 6:17 PM GMT on March 26, 2013

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Cryosat 2 Reveals Major Arctic Sea Ice Loss


"Here's the press release from the National Environment Research Council:


CryoSat-2 mission reveals major Arctic sea-ice loss


Arctic sea ice volume has declined by 36 per cent in the autumn and 9 per cent in the winter between 2003 and 2012, a UK-led team of scientists has discovered.


Researchers used new data from the European Space Agency's CryoSat-2 satellite spanning 2010 to 2012, and data from NASA's ICESat satellite from 2003 to 2008 to estimate the volume of sea ice in the Arctic.


They found that from 2003 to 2008, autumn volumes of ice averaged 11,900 km3. But from 2010 to 2012, the average volume had dropped to 7,600 km3 - a decline of 4,300 km3. The average ice volume in the winter from 2003 to 2008 was 16,300 km3, dropping to 14,800 km3 between 2010 and 2012 - a difference of 1,500 km3.


"The data reveals that thick sea ice has disappeared from a region to the north of Greenland, the Canadian Archipelago, and to the northeast of Svalbard," says Dr Katharine Giles, a NERC-funded research fellow at the Centre for Polar Observation & Modelling (CPOM) at UCL (University College London), who co-authored the report, published online in Geophysical Research Letters.


The findings confirm the continuing decline in Arctic sea-ice volume simulated by the Pan-Arctic Ice-Ocean Modelling & Assimilation System (PIOMAS), which estimates the volume of Arctic sea ice and had been checked using earlier submarine, mooring, and satellite observations until 2008.


Other satellites have already shown drops in the area covered by Arctic sea ice as the climate has warmed. Indeed, sea-ice extent reached a record minimum in September 2012. But CryoSat-2, launched in April 2010, differs in that it lets scientists estimate the volume of sea ice - a much more accurate indicator of the changes taking place in the Arctic.


"While two years of CryoSat-2 data aren't indicative of a long-term change, the lower ice thickness and volume in February and March 2012, compared with same period in 2011, may have contributed to the record minimum ice extent during the 2012 autumn," says Professor Christian Haas of York University, Canada Research Chair for Arctic Sea Ice Geophysics, co-author of the study and coordinator of the international CryoSat sea ice validation activities."

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As this current report explains Arctic sea ice loss in volume is now accelerating. This is very important because the amount of volume in comparison to ice extent truly shows the extent of this crisis. As I reported previously in my entry on Arctic sea ice loss and it's amplification of the greenhouse effect the changes taking place in the Arctic which are stunning though not being reported by the mainstream media are something we must be concerned with. This is not something to be relegated to only those who understand the terms in this report. This must be understood by all of us because the implications of it for our present and future survival are imperative to know. If you look on this page you will see the current PPM of CO2. We are edging closer and closer to the 400PPM which was already read in the Arctic last year. Scientists have stated that in order to keep our atmosphere a level comfortable for human habitation 350PPM is the limit and 450PPM is the threshold of the tipping point.


This in concert with the carbon budget are the two guidelines we must adhere to in order to preserve this planet for ours and other species continued existence. It really is not rocket science. CO2 emitted into the atmosphere in ever increasing amounts will trap more of the sun's rays creating a greater radiative forcing holding more heat and more moisture resulting in what we now see taking place: Greater and more frequent droughts, floods, storms and the subsequent damage to agriculture, water supplies and the social structures that count on them for their livelihoods.


There can be no greater and more urgent call than the one our Earth is now giving us! The Arctic is now the central point in seeing the effects of our consumption and hubris. And this report is a mirror into a world we are creating and have created for ourselves and specifically for those to come that will not be kind to us. When you push hard enough on a force eventually it will either break or push back. The smart thing to do is to realize the signs of the results of that excessive force and pull back in order not to break or force the opposing side to push back so hard that the entire system is broken. We continue to push our climate system thinking the force we are exerting on it will not push back. It is physics and it is now working against us.


To also see these changes taking place not just so rapidly but so early in the Arctic is a sign that warming there continues at a pace far quicker than predicted. These rapid changes are also affecting the climate and weather events of mid latitudes as currently noted by the excessive snowfalls from the US to Europe and Asia. We have placed 4-7% additional moisture into our atmosphere due to the continued burning of fossil fuels. This report is then not something to be seen as far away from us. It is about us.


However, those interests that seek to pump billions into misinformation through media campaigns and infiltration of other mediums are banking on you not understanding these reports and their implications for your life. Time to prove them wrong. The Arctic is not waiting.


Also see:


crack is bad for you and sea ice


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1. JanMoore
7:43 PM GMT on April 18, 2013
Anybody out there?
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About JanMoore

Environmental writer reporting on climate and water issues.

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