Arctic Meltdown Update

Posted on July 30, 2008

At the end of last year, Jay Zwally, NASA climate scientist specialising in Arctic ice conditions, looked closely at the state of the Arctic and publicly announced that “at this rate the ocean could be nearly ice-free by the end of summer 2012. This beats previous worst case scenarios by decades, or centuries (1).

Now, more recently, scientists are looking at the arctic ice and shaking their heads. Now we are getting towards the end of the arctic winter and images from NASA show that 70% of this summers Arctic ice cover is of the new and unstable variety, compared to the usual 50% (2).

(Image from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, University of Colorado, Boulder, via NewScientist blog)
This years summer looks set for an acceleration in the meltdown, something which scientists like Dr. Olav Orheim of the Norwegian International Polar Year Secretariat are deeply concerned about.

“If Norway’s average temperature this year equals that in 2007, the ice cap in the Arctic will all melt away, which is highly possible judging from current conditions” (3).
“2007 wasn’t supposed to be a bad melt year. 2005, which was, was supposed to be followed by a recuperation. But it wasn’t” (4).

(Image from NOAA)

Positive feedback loops, such as the release of methane hydrate from the ocean and permafrost, are of major concern.

Let’s do something. Go vegetarian today – and reforest the lands spared by this change. NASA’s James Hansen has said that “we can still roll things back. We’ve passed tipping points, but not the point of no return” (5).

Go vegan today to prevent runaway climate change, war, famine, and the poisoning of the atmosphere.