By JR on Monday, April 17, 2017
Arctic meltdown: Sea and land ice are cracking up at a record pace (!)
I imagine that the figures below are all carefully cherrypicked in the usual Green/Left way but whether they are or not they are no disaster. As Archimdes discovered over 2,000 years ago, melting sea ice does NOT raise the water level. And the only substantial land mass in the Arctic is Greenland. And while there is some melting of Greenland coastal ice the interior icecap is and always has been stable. So it is only the coastal ice that could have some effect. But in a recent study it was projected to raise global sea levels by a whole 1.5 inches by 2100! So the shrieks of horror below are entirely without justification
The images from the Arctic ice death spiral are haunting. The impacts will be terrifying.
Driven by warming air and water temperatures, Arctic sea ice continues its death spiral. A big new crack has been found in a major outlet glacier of the Greenland ice sheet, whose disintegration is speeding up.
Last month set records for the lowest Arctic sea ice extent ever in March, as well as the lowest sea ice volume and lowest sea ice thickness.
The Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System (PIOMAS) at the University of Washington’s Polar Science Center provides monthly updates of Arctic sea ice volume. They using numerical modeling based on “observations from satellites, Navy submarines, moorings, and field measurements.”
Ice volume is determined by figuring out sea ice extent or surface area — and then factoring in the ice thickness.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) tracks sea ice extent with satellites, and this year has seen record lows set every month. Indeed, as this figure shows, sea ice extent has been unusually flat over the last three months, which is normally a time of significant refreezing.
But not only has sea ice extent been setting records for months, so has sea ice thickness.
Arctic sea ice is in a state of meltdown, and at some point soon will simply become too thin and fragmented to be called an “ice cap.”
Significantly, what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic. Arctic amplification drives more extreme weather in North America, while accelerating the defrosting of carbon-rich permafrost, which releases CO2 and methane that each cause faster warming — a dangerous amplifying feedback.
Earth’s melting permafrost threatens to unleash a dangerous climate feedback loop
In addition, as the sea ice disappears and Arctic warming speeds up, that causes faster melting of the land-based Greenland ice sheet, which in turn causes faster sea level rise. A recent study found that Greenland ice mass loss has tripled since 1997.
So perhaps it’s not totally surprising that, as the Washington Post reported, “Scientists just found a strange and worrying crack in one of Greenland’s biggest glaciers.”
The implications of the ice cracking up at an accelerating rate are terrifying for humanity. The images created by it are haunting.