BSB 113     J. Morris Hicks     (8-29-17) 
Unlike Vegas, "What Happens in the Arctic...

...Doesn't Stay in the Arctic."

It greatly affects the entire world and the future of humanity. For me, 2017 has been a year of enlightenment regarding climate change and the enormous impact it has on the future of our civilization. 

Although I've known about climate change for many years, I just hadn't realized what an important role the Arctic plays until this year.

While I have many sources of info about climate change, when it comes to what is happening in the Arctic, the primary scientist featured in my public talks is Dr. Peter Wadhams, University of Cambridge in the UK. 

So what is happening in the Arctic? 
  1. The temperature is rising faster than most other parts of the world.
  2. The volume of ice (in cubic kilometers) is down 75% from pre-industrial levels.
  3. Dr. Wadhams and others predict that we could have an ice-free Arctic as soon as 2020, if not earlier.
  4. When the Arctic Sea loses its ice cover, it changes from white (which reflects the heat) to blue, which absorbs most of the heat.
  5. The above phenomenon is called the albedo effect and has played a huge role in keeping our planet cool--reflecting heat back into space.
  6. A warming Arctic Sea raises the possibility of a 50 megaton release of methane that has been frozen on the sea floor for many thousands of years. See 2013 Guardian article by Nafeez Ahmed.
All of the above activity is part of what scientists call a positive feedback loop which means that melting ice leads to a warmer ocean which leads to more melting ice...until eventually there is no more ice in the Arctic--for much of the year. 

In May of 2017, we cruised from New York to Iceland and were delayed a full day because of the need to dodge the record number of icebergs that posed great danger for all ships. 

The problem is that the media doesn't cover the kind of information that you are reading here. When it comes to the Arctic, the media covers things that humans want to hear about: shipping, tourism, safety and the sheer beauty of the icebergs. 

They never cover information like what you see below from the National Snow and Ice Data Center. This graph clearly shows how we have lost about two million square kilometers of ice cover in the Arctic since 1978. 

Note that this graph is for the month of February, just before spring thawing begins.

For more information on what is happening in the Arctic, I refer you to a blogspot that features the work of Peter Wadhams and scores of other scientists who want the world to learn about the crucial importance of what is happening in the Arctic. It is aptly named "Arctic News."

Have Message, Will Travel.  Please contact me (by return email) if you'd like to discuss scheduling a presentation at a venue near you. I have given variations of my "big picture" sustainability talk to many types of audiences and, while it's alarming to many, the message seems to resonate with conscientious people of all ages and backgrounds.

It's a topic that every human being needs to learn about--while there is still time to do something about it.

Food. Health. Planet. Our Future as a Species .

Upcoming Presentations:  Ithaca, NY, in Sept., Ontario, Canada in Oct., Buffalo and Rochester in Nov., Fort Myers, FL ( VegFest), in Jan. 2018 and at the in Honolulu and Maui in April. To view all 48 slides in my latest presentation,  click here.

Be well,  J. Morris (Jim) Hicks

Promoting health, hope and harmony on planet Earth

Moonglow J. Morris Hicks

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