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In Northern Hemisphere, Melting of Polar Ice Well Ahead of Many Predictions – Next Month Could See Ice-Free Arctic

Posted Jul 21 2008 10:15am

There’s an old saying which some believe originated as a Chinese curse:May you live in interesting times.The new millennium certainly qualifies! It often seems that the weather has become our worst enemy. If I were a polar bear, I know that I’d feel that way.

Greenland photo credit: Kim Hansen

So far this month, I’ve been telling you about the significance of proclamations about global warming which have emerged from the scientific community this year. The news is not good. In fact, it’s horrible. All peer-reviewed predictions about the causes and effects of global warming are coming to fruition and it may well happen that next month, summertime melting of polar ice in the Northern Hemisphere will be complete. We could have an ice-free Arctic for the first time in the history of humankind.

That’s a very big deal. In fact, some of the more conservative estimates by very respected academic bodies gave us until 2050 before we’d see a completely ice-free Arctic, even in summer. They were way off. Why? Was there a flaw in their interpretation? Could it be that atmospheric carbon content is not the best measure of the doom we have leveled on ourselves?

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