Photo of the cover of an informational brochure from NSIDC
On the evening of January 25 Bob and I attended a lecture at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. Two PHD researchers from NSIDC presented slides, information and statistics about sea ice, glaciers, Polar Atmosphere, Great Lakes Ice and general climatic changes over the years. It was both fascinating and worrisome.
They showed data which indicated that in September 2002 Arctic sea ice reached a record low, then followed with data showing that it continued to decrease culminating in a new record low in 2005. They said most scholars studying the impact agree that if this trend continues, we will have no remaining Arctic sea ice by 2050 and that will result in the extinction of polar bears. It would also effect changes in ocean current flows which now warm parts of Europe, resulting in much colder climates there and hotter, dryer climates elsewhere in the world.
One of the most amazing pieces of information from the lecture is that probably in 20 years the ice will have sufficiently receded to finally create a Northwest Passage. Just think of all the failed expeditions and lost lives since the 16th century, trying to find a northwest passage!
I am not an alarmist but I trust that this is a serious situation that governments must no longer ignore. There may be nothing that can be done at this point but we must join the other nations of the world in trying to understand the role of humans in contributing to the problem so that we can determine if there is a change in behavior that would help alleviate it..
Until last night the word Cryosphere was not even in my vocabulary. Now it is something else for me to concerned about.