News that Russian scientist had to evacuate a scientific research station based on an ice floe – North Pole-40 – is another sign of how climate change is influencing the Arctic (see Floating research station in need of evacuation). The researchers had intended to stay until September but the floe started to break up earlier this month.
This short video from Climate Denial Crock of the Week illustrates how Arctic ice has decreased over the period 1979 – 2012.
Arctic Sea Ice Collapse 1979-2012 (PIOMAS)
Thanks to Arctic 2013.
See also: The Making of a Classic Climate Graph
The unprecedented loss of sea ice in the Arctic this northern summer has made the news lately. The images below from the Guardian article Arctic sea ice shrinks to smallest extent ever recorded show the problem.
But this second figure brings it home to me. What we are seeing is the possibility of future commercial sea navigation through the Arctic circle – initially seasonal but eventually throughout the year. And increased exploitation of natural resources. Already major powers are lining up to take advantage of improved access and international political conflicts are emerging.
The article says:
“The shrinking of the ice cap was interpreted by environment groups as a signal of long-term global warming caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions. A study published in July in the journal Environmental Research Letters, that compared model projections with observations, estimated that the radical decline in Arctic sea ice has been between 70-95% due to human activities.”
It looks like the first major political and economic effects directly attributable to human caused climate change will probably emerge around the Arctic. And in the not too distant future.
Posted in environment, glaciers, Russia, SciBlogs, science, Science and Society
Tagged climate change, global warming, Guardian, Polar ice packs, SciBlogs, Sea ice