August 24, 2005 3:05 PM PDT

Arctic could see ice-free summers in 100 years

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Sea levels likely to rise 25cm this century

March 17, 2005

Tech person of the year: Nature

December 22, 2004
Ice-free summers--a phenomenon that hasn't occurred in the Arctic in a million years--could become a reality in a century because of warming trends, researchers said.

Looking at data on the rate of ice melt in the Arctic, researchers from the University of Arizona and other universities concluded that the rate is accelerating and that no foreseeable natural forces will counteract that acceleration. As a result, ice-free summers loom.

The situation will have worldwide ecological impact, the researchers said. The progressive melt will cause sea levels worldwide to rise, flooding coastal areas, where a substantial portion of the world's population lives. Huge sections of Bangladesh, for example, consist of river delta at sea level. The melt could also thaw permafrost, which could lead to an increase of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

The increasing rate of ice melt is already having some impact on people and animals in the Arctic. Other researchers have speculated that the progressing ice melt around Siberia may lead to a summer Northeast passage connecting Japan to Europe in a decade or so.

Some researchers have also speculated that sea levels may rise nearly a foot in 100 years.

Rising sea levels, and global warming in general, are, however, issues that are passionately debated in scientific and political circles.

The climate of the Arctic region has veered from deep ice ages where glaciers covered huge swaths of North America and Europe to somewhat warmer periods. By studying ice cores and marine sediment, scientists have put together a picture of the natural climate envelope for the region for the past million years.

Arctic climate is largely determined by the interplay of three different feedback loops: the interaction between sea and land ice; ocean circulation in the North Atlantic; and precipitation and evaporation. Shifts in the balance of these factors lead inexorably to larger changes.

For example, the white surface of sea ice reflects radiation from the sun. However, as sea ice melts, more solar radiation is absorbed by the dark ocean, which heats up and results in yet more sea ice melting.

While some of these factors could cause the rate of the melt to slow, none appear strong enough to reverse the current situation, the researchers said.

"I think probably the biggest surprise of the meeting was that no one could envision any interaction between the components that would act naturally to stop the trajectory to the new system," said Jonathan Overpeck, a geoscientist at the University of Arizona and the lead author on the paper.

The report was published in the Aug. 23 edition of Eos, the weekly newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.

80 comments

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Okay
How do we blame Microsoft for this? :-)

Jim
Posted by poster48150 (167 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Easy
You blame the redmond-nazi farm for producing too much heat. :D

No, seriously, why not hook a big vaccum up in space, drop a REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEALLY long hose down to the sea and start sucking up the Ocean, spraying the water to mars? eh? eh?
Posted by (461 comments )
Link Flag
I Got It!
Bill Gates hair gel!
Posted by cjohn17 (268 comments )
Link Flag
Win2K
If Microsoft didn't write Win2K so well then I wouldn't be running three PIIs still. (One of them is the 266MHz version with theultra-lame 66MHz bus.) Thus causing more usage of Fossil fuels etc....

Darn Microsoft.
Posted by Andrew J Glina (1673 comments )
Link Flag
Better do something quick!
Like getting China and India to agree to the same cutbacks that America would have to face under Kyoto so that people like me would go along with America ratifying the treaty.
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Dysfunctional 3rd World
Kyoto is just a tool to redistribute America's wealth to the
dysfunctional 3rd world. They should clean up their back yard
before they start knocking on our door.

Besides, if Algore was for it, you know it had to be a bad deal for
America. (Now watch the socialists come flying out of the closet all
ticked off.)
Posted by cjohn17 (268 comments )
Link Flag
Big Problems in near future
I believe that the melting ice and other global wrming issuses are everyone problems. However I am a realist and I know that we all will let things go until the problems are very bad and loss of life is involved. It's sad when you think about the act that we have the knowledge to solve this problem but not the inclination.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
A quick look
around the net reveals that there are a lot of clean, renewable
and cheap forms of energy to choose from. Too bad most
politicians are ignorant of what is available, and keep repeating
the same tired myth that our dependency on oil is inevitable.
People, start voting for Green parties, otherwise we will all be
toast, quite literally...
Posted by Tui Pohutukawa (366 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Green?
If you want green candidates to win, perhaps they should run as
Democrats and stop dividing the vote. They only hurt their own
cause as a third party.
Posted by samkass (310 comments )
Link Flag
Skittles and Rainbows
Oh, please... vote for the Green Party? Those guys are a bunch of
foolish Ed Bagely look-alikes. You go right ahead and vote for
those nerds and spilt the vote for the Dems. I really GOP want
you to.

Then when you can give the world an accurate weather report
3-5 days in advance then maybe you can join the adults.
Meanwhile, dream on about flying cars that run on Skittles and
rainbows. The rest of us will live the in the real world.
Posted by cjohn17 (268 comments )
Link Flag
Bwahahahaha; oil conspiracy!
An oil conspiracy! Oh my... Yes, OPEC is just a front organization that makes oil popular through *really* good marketing.

And the CHI-COM oligarchy power structure just mimics the US leadership and buys into OPEC propaganda against solar power...

Of course!!
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Link Flag
ignorance is no excusse
I am not sure if they, the politicians are ignorant or if they simply follow the money. Many of the high tech or low tech solutions to the global warming issues do not place money in the ight hands. You know the hands that are currently controlling the self distructive course we are on.
Posted by (2 comments )
Link Flag
Please
I get tired of all these story's of how the world going to end or how we are destroying it. bla bla bla!!!

The fact is this a normal process for the planet we just help it go threw it faster.

anyone remember in world history the map of the world before the ice age, I would say that The planet is entering a normalizational ( <-- Might not be a word) state before the comet put us in that ice age state.
Posted by simcity1976 (136 comments )
Reply Link Flag
That's ok the Ice Age will be back anyways
I was watching PBS the other night and in 1912 scientist Milutin Milankovitch published his theory on Ice Ages. In a nut shell it states that Earths Orbit changes into more of an elliptical pattern thus pushing the earth farther away from the sun causing Glaciers to form on Earth. After seeing this I'm not so sure about Global Warming in the sense that Man has caused it, it's more like the orbit caused it. So in around 90,000 years a new ice age will begin yay! Read up for yourself here <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age</a>
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milutin_Milankovitch" target="_newWindow">http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milutin_Milankovitch</a>.

Have fun Bob!
Posted by (43 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not really significant....
Milankovitch was looking for a ice age driver, but once he got
past the drift of the earth's inclination relative to aphelion and
perihelion, he was really just sifting dust.

A far more significant factor is the Atlantic Conveyor, the current
pattern cycling sea water through the oceans. Losing the ice
from the arctic will shut off this conveyor, which in turn means
no gulf stream, which in turn means Northeast North American
and Northern Europe (including Great Britain) drops about 30
degrees in temperature, which in turn means rapid formation of
glaciers. Eventually, the Atlantic Conveyor restarts and the north
Atlantic area begins to warm up again.

And this could be a repetitive phenomenon.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Scientists See...
... and they see better especially with the technologies available today. The fact is, there are proofs available to show the depletion of the ice in the Arctic over the years.

The "100 years" estimate was first made by scientists and researchers between 2002 and 2003 in related studies about global warming and the progressive melting of the Arctic ice.

Though global warming is one state, what happens during or after is not known. There are theories about global warming leading to global water crisis (too much or too little here and there); to a new ice age; and/or to ecological imbalance which may lead to the development of damaging or lethal eco-system.

This article is a reminder of what is known since the start of the 21st century.
Posted by Mendz (519 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Nothing new...
Just look in the web for "Medieval Optimum" and "Medieval Warm Period". Between IX and XII centuries, the average global temperature was far higher than it's today, to the point that Greenland (its name is quite expressive) was inhabited by the vikings and somehow, the ocean level kept stable...
Posted by BertieTheBear (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Re: Melting Ice Sheets
As I understand it as the albedo increases more light is reflected back into space before it can be transformed into infrared radiation which has difficulty getting back into space due to the opacity of increased CO2. If we increase the albedo wouldn't this slow global warming? What if everyone was incouraged (decreased tax) to buy white vehicles? I'm guessing there are about 1 billion vehicles on the planet with a reflective surface area of about 50 square feet (more or less). If we increased the white relective surface of the planet by 50 billion square feet what would happen? What would happen if roof tops were constructed/painted/covered with a more reflective surface? What about roads (instead of highly absorbing black top)? What if a space shuttle load of Titanium oxide were dispersed in space? In other words would increasing the albedo of the planet (or near-space)by these means have any effect on global warming? Just wondering.
Posted by spothannah (145 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No effect at all....
... that you could measure. The 50 billion square feet of white cars
is less than one millionth of the Earth's surface.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Are you insane...
Pilots would go blind!
Posted by Nathan Lunn (113 comments )
Link Flag
People tend to ignore....
... that a major greenhouse gas increase comes from natural
outgasing from cows and termites, plus gasification of methyl
hydrate. Sure, CO2 is also important, but it's not the only one to be
concerned about.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Reply Link Flag
It's just so darn easy to ignore the facts
We live in a world where facts are often conveniently overlooked or ignored alltogether. Couple that with the fact that everyone these days is an expert and you've got quite a party.
Posted by Christopher Hall (1205 comments )
Link Flag
Cows worse than cars
I remember reading, some years ago, that cows are a greater factor in global warming than cars. The (constant) methane expulsion from bovine orifices coupled with the slash and burn tactics used to provide grazing land impacts the atmosphere more than 8 mpg Hummers.
Posted by Nathan Lunn (113 comments )
Link Flag
Why am I reading about this on CNET
First of all, who cares? And second of all what does this have to do with anything on CNET. Another page turner on CNET. Oh boy!
Posted by (3 comments )
Reply Link Flag
What kills me is ..
Weather forcasters can't accurately predict what the weather is going be like two weeks from now and yet we are supposed to believe that all this is going to happen 100 or more years later. How the hell do they know?

I believe that we are having an impact on the climate, but all these doom &#38; gloom "predictions" are just ridiculous.
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
the doom sayers
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/misc-non-science.html" target="_newWindow">http://www.wmconnolley.org.uk/sci/iceage/misc-non-science.html</a>

Here is a Newsweek article from the 70's. Seems we were having the exact opposite problem back then.
Posted by Bob Brinkman (556 comments )
Link Flag
Anyone selling real estate in northern canada?
Anyone selling real estate in northern canada?
Looks like a good investment now!
Posted by hadaso (468 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Not really....
... the previously rock hard permafrost is turning into a massive
quagmire. Someday, swamp critters may like it, but probably no
one else.
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Huh?
Maybe if refugee camps and bath houses are the next growth industry....
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Link Flag
Go Ahead...Believe Everything You Read.
I am frequently appalled at how gullible most people are and the utter lack of professionalism in the scientific community.
Here we are, able to quantify certain "trends" for the first time in history and we automatically assume that a)It's never happened before and b)the planet is doomed based on a few years' observation.
How unscientific.
Is global warming real? Half the world's scientists agree...the other half disagree.
I'll believe it when I see it.
Posted by gdmaclew (158 comments )
Reply Link Flag
No....
... you'll believe it when you can recognize it. By then, it could
well be too late to do anything about it other than to kiss your
butt goodbye.

No, it's not a sure thing. Yes, it could be just a transient
phenomenon. No, we can't forecast the weather that accurately.
Yes, we can forecast that if the warming is real, and we don't do
anything about it now, there won't be anything we can do about
it later.

It's a gamble. Which way do you want to bet?????
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
Believe what you WANT to believe more like
Its not "believe everything you read"...

Its more like "read only what will support what you want to believe"

So, if someone hates Bush, they are likely to read about how Bush is destroying the earth, about how Bush is a murderer, about how he's a liar, etc.

c|net, cnn, whoever, just keep ringing the register... cha ching cha ching!
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Link Flag
Balance to parallel reality IS best.
The human mind does love its peace. The problem is we often pay too high a price for it, by ignoring the diversity of reality. The enhanced communications and analysis that is coming into our possesion may be the soundest solution a creature could ever attain.

One might note at the political level (power is ever so important to our peace); that our ORIGINAL Federal Constitution had a bit more potential for diversity in the Administration, given the fact that the people were given two votes for the candidate. Admittedly, they were basically only used for intities of the same party before the system was changed, after a few elections. One of which put Thomas Jefferson in a bind, percipicating the change. Yet there may be many people in the more modern times that would rather split their votes.

An example of a National contituion that does allow more diversity is that of South Africa. The present literacy rate is limiting the expression of its fullest potential. Still the minority 'white' population have been living relatively peacefully among the rest since its introduction. As having a 'Deputy President' in the cabinet helps to insure that laws will be followed properly. Admittedly, the laws of reality is what rules the world. Having harmony with that should be the focus all around.

Sincerely,

Gregory D. MELLOTT
Posted by gdmellott (28 comments )
Link Flag
You should read "State of Fear"
When you read Crichton's latest book, do not misinterpret the meaning of the book. Crichton was using the global warming issue to show how easily people will believe something because of what appears to be credible people say. And it has a great story behind it too. The purpose of the book is to remove the politics and agendas from science. Yet, some people believe in global warming so much, they took this book as a personal afront to their beliefs. It was not. Global warming is a hot topic for now -- so it was the best fit for his "believe by facts" book.

Crichton wants to believe in global warming, or any belief, because of facts, not because scare tactics. Read the book with an open mind for truth.
Posted by i_am_still_wade (250 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Bwahahaha; oil conspiracy theory!
An oil conspiracy! Oh my... Yes, OPEC is just a front organization that makes oil popular through *really* good marketing.

And the CHI-COM oligarchy power structure just mimics the US leadership and buys into OPEC propaganda against solar power...

Of course!!
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Alternative energy's biggest challenge.
The fact that fossil fuel can economically swallow the alternative energy companies by temporarily under cutting the costs, is a big challenge. The only staight forward way I can see to address this is to look at fossile fuels as the emergency materials they are. And base their cost on what it would take to replace them for the health and safety of those who follow us.

Sincerely,

Gregory D. MELLOTT

One source of alternative energy that I hear little about, to me is potentially one of strongest. Just a 6 foot wave 100 feet across its front, and 1 wave length long, has well over 100KWatts of energy in it. The North West Pacific is a noted storm generator giving us rough seas often. There is an area of the coast of California that has a sea mount that nears the surface that also generates swells pretty consistantly.

Sincerely,

Gregory D. MELLOTT
Posted by gdmellott (28 comments )
Link Flag
Huh?
Maybe if refugee camps and bath houses are the next growth industry...
Posted by gerhard_schroeder (311 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Who really cares?
So the arctic will have snow free summers? And some areas will be underwater? Who cares? Let's face it people. No matter how much we moan and curse, none of us will be around in 100 years and by then evolution will have kicked in and provided us with gills and fins so we'll be semi-aquatic anyway.

I blame George Bush anyway. He's usually behind everything.
Posted by (7 comments )
Reply Link Flag
Now that was a dumb response...
n/t
Posted by Earl Benser (4310 comments )
Link Flag
This is nuts
we really need to get off this oil kick.

and on a personal note, this girl makes ME melt

<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.fotodaze.com/view.php?view=2077" target="_newWindow">http://www.fotodaze.com/view.php?view=2077</a>
Posted by (1 comment )
Reply Link Flag
Melting an ice cube won't raise the water level in a glass...
LAND-based ice melt will raise sea level. How will ice ALREADY in the ocean raise the level?
Posted by (1 comment )
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