Sunday, June 29, 2008

North Pole's Changes Bring Grim News

The headline in TIME really caught my eye because it was a big surprise even with all the news about ice at the earth's poles: An Ice-Free North Pole?

TIME writer Seth Borenstein says a scientist he talked with notes, "There's a 50-50 chance that the North Pole will be ice-free this summer, which would be a first in recorded history..... Preliminary February and March data from a NASA satellite shows that the circle of ice surrounding the North Pole is "considerably thinner" than scientists have seen during the five years the satellite has been taking pictures.... For the last couple of decades, there has been a steady melt of Arctic sea ice — which covers only the ocean and which thins during summer and refreezes in winter. In recent years, it has gradually become thinner because more of it has been melting as the Earth's temperature rises."

Of course, scientists are looking for solutions, but how could it possibly be in time to reverse these dramatic and fast-moving changes?