North Pole. No Ice. Soon.

It’s true. The ice of the North Pole is melting at an exaggerated rate, so much so that we may see the North Pole lose all of its ice in the near future, like this year. While this has been making the rounds in most of the major news outlets as a story, I am somewhat surprised that it is not being reported as a much more serious situation than it seems to be. We are distracted.

Here’s the deal. If this happens, and all Arctic ice is lost, this will be the first time this has occurred in all recorded human history. To be fair, scientists give this a 50/50 chance of happening, but even 50/50 seems to be dangerous odds for something that has not happened in a very, very long time and with as yet unknown implications. If this does happen, it means that you could sail completely across the Arctic and cross the North Pole on the ocean surface, as opposed to having to travel underneath the Arctic ice inside a nuclear powered submarine. This is bad news for the already threatened species of the Arctic. It also means that the nations that border the Arctic will have ready access to exploit the natural resources (oil, minerals, natural gas) that were previously unreachable, and would probably race to do so.

The shrinking Arctic ice is not a new phenomenon, as the sea ice loss has been increasing each year. The thick ice that makes up the Arctic had been built up over many, many years. This ice has been melting, with last year’s melt being especially dramatic, and this year’s already on pace. The problem is that the melted old, thick sea ice is replaced by very thin ice that is built up in only a year. This ice is totally vulnerable, and without the ability to replace the thicker sea ice means that the ice footprint of the Arctic is very precarious. This is attributed to rising ocean temperatures and changing climate patterns.

While reading more about this I came across an EU sponsored program named that measures the environmental impact on the Arctic. Their site is packed with information and I highly suggest checking it out.

Found original story .

One Response to “North Pole. No Ice. Soon.”

  1. Says:

    Holy crap. It’s amazing how cavalier we get when there are far more important things on the news like the rising price of oil and the latest shenanigans of the rising PopTarts.

    Unbelievable. No ice = Very Bad Things.

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