11 October 2011

Dissapearing Ice At The Top of The World and The Roof of the World

Posted by Dan Satterfield

The news that the Arctic sea ice approached very near the 2007 record is about a month old now, but the NSIDC has a rather amazing graph showing the trend since 1978. This is just one aspect of the ice and perhaps not the most important. The old ice in the Arctic has nearly disappeared in many areas now. Take a look at this video from NOAA and made by Dr. Jim Maslanik at the Univ. of Colorado. The image below is from the NSIDC and also shows the dramatic loss of the old thick ice.


Courtesy NSIDC. Large image available just click and it will open in a new window.

Click the image to see the press release from the RGS.

The Royal Geographic Society in London has another amazing view of ice loss, but this one is not at the top of the planet, but on the roof of it in the Himalayas. The early attempts to climb Mount Everest ended in death, but the cameras worked well, and the amount of change around the highest mountain on Earth is just as stunning as the data from the Arctic. Mountain climber David Breashears has made several trips to the Himalayas, and he attempted to take photos from the same spots chosen by explorers like Mallory and E O Wheeler. The difference between the 1920’s and today are something only photos can show best.

For those in the UK, the photographs are on display at the RGS in London until 11 November, but you can see a great slide show from the BBC here. Amazing what a hundred parts per million of greenhouse gases can do, isn’t it. It almost seems hard to believe but as Richard Feynman once said, “Science is what we do to keep from lying to ourselves”.

Note: I just spotted a great post by John Cook this afternoon on the Greenland Ice sheet. Well worth a look. Same story of course…