The Arctic could be ice free by 2030

Regardless if you believe it or not, that’s a scary damn thought. It doesn’t help when you read things like this.

The Arctic ice cap has collapsed at an unprecedented rate this summer and levels of sea ice in the region now stand at record lows, scientists have announced.

Experts say they are “stunned” by the loss of ice, with an area almost twice as big as the UK disappearing in the last week alone.

So much ice has melted this summer that the Northwest passage across the top of Canada is fully navigable, and observers say the Northeast passage along Russia’s Arctic coast could open later this month.

If the increased rate of melting continues, the summertime Arctic could be totally free of ice by 2030.

Mark Serreze, an Arctic specialist at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre at Colorado University in Denver, said: “It’s amazing. It’s simply fallen off a cliff and we’re still losing ice.”

The Arctic has now lost about a third of its ice since satellite measurements began thirty years ago, and the rate of loss has accelerated sharply since 2002.

Dr Serreze said: “If you asked me a couple of years ago when the Arctic could lose all of its ice then I would have said 2100, or 2070 maybe. But now I think that 2030 is a reasonable estimate. It seems that the Arctic is going to be a very different place within our lifetimes, and certainly within our childrens’ lifetimes.” [guardian]

I say bring on the mass transit and new methods of creating cleaner energy. We need it now. Driving around the lower mainland as much as I have in the past month is proof positive as to how much pollution spews into the air from a few million people crammed into the valley. Forget doom and gloom. Let’s just start breathing some cleaner air.


3 Replies to “The Arctic could be ice free by 2030”

  1. 2 million people crammed into the lower mainland isn’t really the problem. 100 Million living in Guangdong province, which is roughly the size of North Dakota, that is a problem. Living in a city that is roughly the size of Vancouver, but with 15 million people…that is a problem. And to think, the air is cleaner here today than it was 10 years ago…but its still rotten.

    It’s not your fault. Don’t feel guilty when you read articles like this. Basing 30 years of study on a planet that is billions of years old is well…like telling your entire life story on the 1 millisecond you lived on August 4, 1992. Your car is not the reason.

  2. It’s not so much that I feel responsible as much as it is how gross the air gets in the valley. It’s not the humidity causing the haze as much as it’s smog. On top of that, living downtown, it smells like car exhaust as the lower mainland commutes around Vancouver.

    I can only imagine how much more harsh things are in China, but it’s by far a walk in the park here, even as beautiful as Vancouver is thought to be.

  3. I agree with GZ in that it’s not your fault, but I’d also like to point out that it is the sum of all individual behaviors that creates collective action. If you, and everyone around you, your friends, family, etc. start doing things towards cleaning the air (e.g. public transit, etc.) then there is a potential for overall improvement. The other thing is to learn to adapt. Although I have my reservations for adaptation, but that’s a much larger conversation 🙂

    What would scare me is if this poll is true: the more educated the person, the less willing to do green stuff…

    Good job on the blog John 🙂

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