The Earth is Melting... Aug 29, 2005 15:55:36 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Aug 29, 2005 15:55:36 GMT -6
Arctic Ocean could be ice-free in summer within 100 years, scientists say
The current warming trends in the Arctic may shove the Arctic system into a seasonally ice-free state not seen for more than one million years, according to a new report. The melting is accelerating, and a team of researchers were unable to identify any natural processes that might slow the de-icing of the Arctic.
Such substantial additional melting of Arctic glaciers and ice sheets will raise sea level worldwide, flooding the coastal areas where many of the world's people live.
Melting sea ice has already resulted in dramatic impacts for the indigenous people and animals in the Arctic, which includes parts of Alaska, Canada, Russia, Siberia, Scandinavia and Greenland.
"What really makes the Arctic different from the rest of the non-polar world is the permanent ice in the ground, in the ocean and on land," said lead author University of Arizona geoscientist Jonathan T. Overpeck. "We see all of that ice melting already, and we envision that it will melt back much more dramatically in the future as we move towards this more permanent ice-free state."
The report by Overpeck and his colleagues is published in the Aug. 23 Eos, the weekly newspaper of the American Geophysical Union. A complete list of authors and their affiliations is at the end of this release.
In addition to sea and land ice melting, Overpeck warned that permafrost--the permanently frozen layer of soil that underlies much of the Arctic--will melt and eventually disappear in some areas. Such thawing could release additional greenhouse gases stored in the permafrost for thousands of years, which would amplify human-induced climate change.
More here: www.spaceref.com/news/viewpr.html?pid=17679
On a recent U.S. Senate trip to Alaska, they came back saying that Alaska is melting. I think we are in for some serious times ahead...