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Sea Ice Collapse in Arctic

It's not like we haven't seen it coming for the last 30 years, but damn, there it is. The Arctic ice cap dropped 18.2 percent and pack ice loss may be irreversible. Since this is sea ice, its melting won't affect sea levels directly. But the loss of albedo is hugely important as positive-feedback mechanism which further increases global warming.

The Greenland ice is next. It's not sea ice. It will raise ocean levels significantly. We're talking meters, not inches.

The odds that Florida sinks under the waves in my lifetime keep looking better all the time. Silver lining: the Northwest Passage opens up to year-round maritime traffic in the coming decades.

Comments

( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )
brother_che
Sep. 16th, 2005 10:01 pm (UTC)
My mother-in-law "officially" lives in Florida (when she's not out here, as she has been for the past year). We've talked about it and I wouldn't buy property in Florida, because of this if nothing else.
the_monkey_king
Sep. 17th, 2005 02:18 am (UTC)
Yeah, I used to think the same, but I suspect Florida has many good years left before it goes.

OTOH, I sure don't plan on retiring there.
(Deleted comment)
the_monkey_king
Sep. 17th, 2005 02:19 am (UTC)
I think it will all happen very slowly, giving us time to save cities. Dutch engineers will be much in demand.
varianor
Sep. 16th, 2005 11:19 pm (UTC)
What was that SF story about the methane in the oceans trapped in the clathrates getting released and causing massive hurricanes? Suddenly that's looking possible.
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What was that SF story about the methane in the oceans trapped in the clathrates getting released and causing massive hurricanes? Suddenly that's looking possible. <Starts digging for his copy of <i>GURPS Terradyne</i> and the map of the continent flooded to 2 meters higher than current. Bah, that's too small. Where's Gamma World 1E?>
the_monkey_king
Sep. 17th, 2005 02:20 am (UTC)
Was that "Heavy Weather" by Bruce Sterling, that you're thinking of?

I dunno, 2 meters is a pretty good start. I wonder if I can google the volume of the Greenland icepack.
varianor
Sep. 17th, 2005 12:32 pm (UTC)
Re: Storms
No, but thanks for helping my brain kick in. It was Mother of All Storms by John Barnes.

As to Googling, check out this. Amazing stuff on the ice -how it gets thicker in the middle of Greenland as it melts on the sides.

http://svs.gsfc.nasa.gov/stories/greenland/

(Interestingly, the article claims sea levels have risen 4 meters over the past several millenia. Which would explain ruins now underwater among other things.)

Here's an article with the world's "ice inventory". Very cool. Greenland's ice cap has 2,700,000 cubic kilometers of ice.

http://www.johnstonsarchive.net/environment/waterworld.html
the_monkey_king
Sep. 17th, 2005 03:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Storms
Very cool, esp. the Greenland study.

The writer of the ice inventory article, Wm. Robert Johnston, seems to be a complete crank willing to bend the facts and lie outright about the scientific concensus on warming. Oddly enough, I still buy his numbers for ice volumes.
loloc
Sep. 16th, 2005 11:42 pm (UTC)
Again last night I had that strange dream
where everything was exactly how it seemed
no concerns about the world getting warmer
people thought that they were just being rewarded
for treating others as they'd like to be treated
obeying stop signs and curing diseases
for mailing letters with the address of the sender.
Now we can swim any day in November.

Sleeping in - The Postal Service
( 9 sutras — Your wisdom )

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