It looks like Mother Nature is going to give us at least one more year before melting all the ice in the Arctic Ocean. And, for the moment, that's a good thing.
But, according to
the world's most prominent climate scientists like James Hansen of Columbia, Michael Mann of Penn State and Peter Wadhams of Cambridge--an ice-free Arctic is likely to happen soon, but not before next September at the earliest.
For a two-minute visual of what's going on, check out this 8-22-18 video posted by Sky News.
|Oldest sea ice in the arctic starts to melt
During the next two weeks (as shown in the chart below), the Arctic sea ice extent will reach its minimum for the year and it will be above the all-time record low which occurred in 2012 (dotted line). This chart is for yesterday, 8-30-18.
But what about sea ice volume in cubic kilometers? That's where we will likely see a new record low, which sets the stage for a record low ice "extent" next year or quite possibly an ice-free Arctic in September of 2019.
As for volume of ice in the Arctic, this chart was last updated in September of 2017. As you can see, we're getting dangerously close to an ice-free Arctic.
The above information is NOT good news, but incredibly, most of the world's citizens actually believe that the prospects of an ice-free Arctic is a good thing. Why so?
Because to them it sounds like new opportunities for oil drilling, agriculture, shipping and tourism.
But for the experts who know the most about the ecological impacts of an ice-free Arctic, this is a terrifying situation.
Among other atrocities, they know that an ice-free Arctic will accelerate the pace of climate change, will warm the waters of the Arctic Ocean, which will increase the likelihood of near-term releases of huge quantities of methane, which for millions of years has been safely stored in permafrost on the ocean floor.
Dr. Wadhams talks methane in this 6-minute, 2014 video:
Professor Peter Wadhams On Subsea Permafrost Methane Releases And Impacts on Civilisation
The Bottom Line.
Although there has been overwhelming scientific agreement (97%) about the reality of climate change for many years, that fact has not led to any urgency when it comes to doing something about it. I see three big problems:
1. Denial. There are a great many climate deniers in the world and they include many powerful leaders in government and industry. Many of those leaders know that climate change is real but simply don't talk about it--due to some combination of greed and power.
2. Science. There are not very many "big picture" scientists who truly grasp the overall peril that we are facing and who loudly broadcast the necessity for urgent action now to mitigate the damage and enable us to better adapt to future conditions. And those who DO grasp that "big picture" are often criticized by the "mainstream" experts who don't grasp it.
3. Media. They just keep on reporting what people want to hear. Bad news doesn't sell newspapers and isn't good for the financial success of the organization. Occasionally, you'll see a few real hard-hitting articles like the ones in last week's blog, but they haven't led to the kind of urgent action that we must have.
So what can we do? We can learn from the few "big picture" scientists who have been sounding off on this topic for many decades. For the past few years, I have been studying the work of eight of those scientists and will feature them soon in one of my blogs.
here are a few related "Bite-Size Blogs" (BSBs) from the past few weeks:
J. Morris (Jim) Hicks
CEO, 4Leaf Global, LLC
Looking for Opportunities to Speak.
Since 2016, my research, writing and speaking has been focused on the sustainability of our ecosystem and our future as a species. With a primary emphasis on food choices, I call it the "most important topic in the history of humanity."
After all, what could possibly be more important to humans than the survival of our species?
(now contains 5-minute video of me speaking in Tucson)
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