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Special issue on the Arctic: After the ice

category international | environment | other press author Saturday October 15, 2011 19:32author by Climate Student Report this post to the editors

As the Arctic thaws, can science help to chart a sustainable

Nature has a special issue on the retreat of the Arctic Ice. Here are extracts from some articles.

Last winter, parts of the Canadian Arctic basked in record-breaking warmth. In the town of Coral Harbour, at the mouth of Hudson Bay, temperatures rose above freezing for a few days in January for the first time ever. Across the Arctic, extreme climate conditions are becoming the norm, even as the region faces other profound changes, such as the growing political power of indigenous peoples and the race to extract mineral resources (see page 172).

This week, Nature examines how these changes are affecting scientific access to the north (see page 174), and what scientists should do to keep Arctic development green (see page 179) and peaceful (see page 180). Some are calling for international regulations to safeguard the environment as ship traffic increases (see page 157). Both research and development need to consider the views of local peoples, and scientists are learning how to do so (see page 182). Locals can provide insight into environmental changes; scientists might help them to be heard.
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111012/full/478171a.html

after460.jpg

Redrawing the Arctic map: The new north

The Arctic covers around 5% of the planet's surface, but it is capturing a disproportionate amount of attention. With temperatures rising at twice the global rate, the region's summer sea ice is shrinking rapidly, making access easier than ever before. At the same time, countries are racing to claim parts of the Arctic's sea floor and the vast deposits of hydrocarbons that lie beneath it.

Disappearing sea ice

Since satellite observations started in 1979, the September sea-ice extent has declined by 12% per decade, and the past 5 years have marked the lowest on record. The ice cover is thinning (see graph), making it more vulnerable to warmer temperatures. Forecasts by climate models (see graph) suggest that summer sea ice will largely disappear in the second half of the century, but the current rate of ice loss exceeds the models' forecasts, suggesting that ice-free conditions could arrive sooner.
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111012/full/478172a.html


Scientific challenges in the Arctic: Open water
As the ice melts, fresh obstacles confront Arctic researchers.

Daniel Cressey

Last month, US researchers took a 4,000-tonne gamble when they steered the Marcus G. Langseth through the Bering Strait and into the Arctic Ocean. The 72-metre research vessel was not built to plow through ice, so it had never ventured that far poleward before.

But the rules are changing quickly in the new north. Managers at the US National Science Foundation (NSF), which owns the ship, decided to send the Langseth into the Arctic after reviewing satellite images that showed that the intended survey area in the Chukchi Sea had been largely clear of ice for four of the past five summers.

In an e-mail to Nature during the cruise, its principal investigator, Bernard Coakley, said: "We are rolling the dice a bit to take her up north." But the bet paid off for Coakley, a marine geologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. Sea-ice coverage was at near-record lows this summer, and the Langseth — due back in dock this week — has not encountered any troubling ice.

With the Arctic warming roughly twice as fast as the rest of the globe, there is more need than ever to monitor the changing conditions there. And the retreating summer sea ice is opening up new options for scientists who want to explore the once difficult-to-reach Arctic waters, allowing them, for example, to use vessels other than icebreakers.
http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111012/full/478174a.html


More links at: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111012/full/478171a.html

Related Link: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/111012/full/478171a.html
author by Gianni Tpublication date Mon Oct 17, 2011 01:45Report this post to the editors

What you don't understand is that the warm spell in the Arctic last winter was just a localised microclimate. That's how the the record cold in Ireland, Europe and most of the world last winter was explained away by Climate Change believers.

Linking weather events to assumed climate change in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary works both ways.

 

Related Link: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/10/11/hansens-admission...ning/
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Mon Oct 17, 2011 14:21Report this post to the editors

That would explain the unprecedented mobilisation of the military powers to stake their corporate claims to the seabed for expansion of their extraction of resources that presumably will have not the slightest effect on our degenerating ecosphere.

what a relief.

author by Serfpublication date Mon Oct 17, 2011 15:33Report this post to the editors

whats really funny about the melting ice in artic is that the same companies funding the GW deniers are taking full advantage of the changes most likely caused by GW to stake their claims on parts of the artic that were previously inaccessible to prospect for oil and mineral wealth. Really Ironic!!

author by Jani Schoerpublication date Mon Oct 17, 2011 21:33Report this post to the editors

A German climate researcher has discovered that the surge in solar radiation that began in 1700, peaked in 1960 and is still at historically high levels.

Isn't that an inconvenient truth for the bedwetters? 

Related Link: http://climaterealists.com/?id=8495
author by opus diablos - the regressive hypocrite partypublication date Tue Oct 18, 2011 04:56Report this post to the editors

just had a squint at that site

Top left corner: 'The sun, not man, warms the earth'...thats handy.

Now that we can dispense with the ATHMOSPHERE I can change the sheets and sleep happily ever after in never-never land.

I do hope you and Barney are keeping dry.


author by A Byrnepublication date Tue Oct 18, 2011 20:47Report this post to the editors

The last time we had snow this early was on today’s date in 1964.

author by Berkeleypublication date Sat Oct 22, 2011 19:23Report this post to the editors

Muller mulls it over and changes his mind.

Ex-climate sceptic now backs global warming

A climate sceptic has said that it is now time to end the debate over whether global warming is real after the most definitive study into temperature data gathered by weather stations over the past half-century.

Professor Richard Muller, a physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, who has been an outspoken critic of the science underpinning global warming, said that there is little doubt in his mind the phenomenon of rising land temperatures is real. Over the past two years, he has chaired a group of scientists who have carried out an exhaustive analysis of more than 1.6 billion temperature recordings collected from more than 39,000 weather stations at land sites around the world.

The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (Best) study was set up to test the findings of other studies and was part-funded by US billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

"When we began our study, we felt that sceptics had raised legitimate issues, and we didn't know what we'd find. Our results turned out to be close to those published by prior groups. We think that means that those groups had truly been very careful in their work, despite their inability to convince some sceptics of that," Professor Muller said.

Related Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change....html
author by kaminskipublication date Tue Jan 03, 2012 17:05Report this post to the editors

The Antarctic ice cap has 29 million cubic kilometres of ice. This is 90% of all the ice on the planet and between 60 and 70 % of all of the world's fresh water. Only about 0.4 percent of Antarctica is not covered by ice.

Related Link: http://www.sciaticnervepainblog.com/
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