Sunday, September 16, 2012

scientists aboard a Greenpeace ship exploring the minimum extent of the ice cap are surprised at how quickly melting

We are a few hundred miles from the North Pole. The air temperature is-3C, freezing of the sea all around us in these Arctic waters fog on top of the world - are icebergs. Large and small pieces of ice melt and freeze again with the seasons

Arne Sorensen, Danish ice our pilot, is 60 meters high in the crow's ship Arctic Sunrise. Visibility is 200 meters and centimeters him 1,000 tons Greenpeace icebreaker before two nodes in narrow passages of water. Icebergs are stacked and compressed into fantastic shapes and shades of gray and blue, cracking, vibration and whining like pushing aside or jump over. Two polar bears on our port head up, but resume the hunt.

Sorensen sailed deep into the ice at both poles of 30 years, but this trip is different, he said. The edge of the Arctic ice cap is usually far south of where we are now at the end of the melt season. More than 600,000 square kilometers (km ²) over ice melted in 2012 which was never recorded by satellites. However, the minimum level and has almost reached the sea begins to freeze.

"This is the new minimum length of the ice," he said, "the front line of climate change."

"It's sad. 'M Not doubting this is linked to fossil fuels that emit a lot.' S sad to see that we can change the world to such a degree. "

large polar cap, which regulates the temperature of the Earth and has been a permanent fixture in our understanding of how the world works, this year has fallen further and faster than expected. The previous record, set in 2007, formally broke out on August 27, when the satellite images on average for five days showed that the ice then extended 4.11 million km square, a reduction of nearly 50%, compared to only 40 .

But since August 27, the ice melted - in nearly 40,000 square kilometers per day, a few days ago. Satellite photos showed this weekend covering only cover 3.49 kilometers square. This year, 11.7 square miles of melted ice m, 22% higher than the long term average of 9.18m square kilometers. The historically low level should now officially on Monday called National Snow and Ice Data Center U.S. (NSIDC) in Colorado.

registration has not only been broken, has been broken into pieces, add weight to predictions that the Arctic could be ice-free in summer within 20 years, according to British scientists, on the Italian and American base aboard the Arctic Sunrise. They are surprised by the speed and extent of ice loss.

Cambridge University researcher Nick toberg sea ice, which analyzed data collected ice thickness underwater British nuclear submarine HMS Tireless in 2004 and 2007, said "What is surprising is worrying, we are afraid physically. changed the face of the planet. We have about 4 million square kilometers of ice. If this happens in the summer months is about the same as adding 20 CO

current [manmade] rates in atmosphere. It is vital Arctic sea ice is.

"In the 1970s, we 8m square kilometers of ice. This has been halved. Thing we need in the summer. Never fallen like that before. "

"We knew that the ice thins, but I did not expect that I would lose that amount this year. Broke the record by far, "said NSIDC scientist Julienne Stroeve.

"The accelerated loss of ice extent is usually because the ice was so thin. Would explain why it has melted a lot this year. In June the ice edge was where normally removed in September, "she said.

"The 2007 record was noted that the weather conditions were perfect for the merger. This year we did not have them. Were mixed. Then this suggests that the ice has reached a point in which is so thin, no matter how long it will melt during the summer. This could become the new standard, "said Stroeve.

Stroeve The past has shown that melting ice has happened much faster than the models predicted. The new study, published last month in the journal Geophysical Research articles shows that humans may have been responsible for most of the ice loss in recent decades.

"This suggests that 60% of the decline in ice extent Septembers from 1953 to 2011 is due to human activity. Decrease is linked to rising temperatures," she said .

"This year is important. Currently, the [ice extent] is lower that the Panel went on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) will appear in 2014. We are at the extreme edge of the models, suggesting that the loss of ice is faster than models suggest, "said Stroeve.

With the ice melting is accompanied by an avalanche industry for Arctic resources. The oil, gas, mining and transport are increasing their activities in areas which until 20 years ago would have been physically impossible. They provide new opportunities for trade, but new threats to the environment. On Monday, a historic first drilling operation in the Alaskan Chukchi Sea Shell was arrested after the sea ice was seen advancing towards the oil drilling ship.

new Other research suggests that ice loss could be could affect the trajectory and speed of the jet streams, which may explain why extreme weather in the northern hemisphere is a longer long.

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