3 September 2008

Two Must Read Articles In The NY Times

Posted by Dan Satterfield

Andy Revkin the science writer at the New York Times has an interesting article on Arctic sea ice today. The ice reached a new record low last September and is approaching the same level again this year.

You should realize that the ice cover is disappearing at a much faster rate than the IPCC models have been forecasting.  Now, a majority of scientists who study the ice, feel that we are at, or very near a tipping point. Beyond the tipping point, the Summer ice will disappear very rapidly. Perhaps in a decade or two.

To understand why this is so, read up on the following: Ice Albedo Feedback.

The other article is about Dr. Jeremy Jackson the noted Ocean Scientist. His web site shiftingbaselines.org is getting  a lot of attention. It is amazing to him (and many others, including me) that the story of collapsing fish stocks in the oceans, is getting so little attention.

It may be because people cannot fathom (pun intended) how it is possible to deplete such a huge resource.

Keep in mind that most of the tropical oceans are biological deserts. The life zone in the oceans is very thin. Only the top 300 meters get any real sunlight. The rest of the oceans are dark, and frigidly cold places with comparatively little life. The ocean temperatures in the deep are just above 0C.

Back to the sea ice one more time.  The La- Nina last Winter, acted to cool the planet slightly, from the year before. So many scientists expected the ice would not melt as fast in the Arctic this year, and another new record would not be likely.

The fact that the record is again in jeopardy, is nothing less than stunning.