The US National Snow and Ice Data Center reported a continuation of record lows of Arctic sea ice with less than 4 million kilometers of ice remaining. The center said the trend would continue for at least another week. As noted in the chart above, sea ice has been declining at an accelerating rate since 1975. In fact, 75% of all Arctic sea ice volume has disappeared in the past 20 years. Some experts expect that the Arctic will become open ocean within a decade. Between mid-March and the third week of August, the total amount of multiyear ice within the Arctic Ocean declined by 33%, and the oldest ice, ice older than five years, declined by 51%.
In July, NSIDC released a report that showed that the turn-of-century drought was the worst in 800 years. A June report said that Anartic penquins will become extinct by 2100 if warming in Antartica continues at its current pace.
Another report in Geophysical Research Letters found that accelerating ice declines in southern South America are contributing to higher sea-levels. Worldwide the glacial mass is 30% less than it was a decade ago. Over a three hundred year period, sea levels could rise 16 feet and a three to six foot sea rise could occur by 2100. However, if all Antarctic peninsulas melted, it would raise sea levels by 200 feet. Although the main stream media has misreported recent research, the reality is that Antarctic melting is threatening sea levels.
A new report from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that
“hot summers due to global warming is such that what was once considered an unusually hot summer has now become typical, and what was once considered typical will soon become a thing of the past – a summer too improbably cool to anymore expect.”
The US Global Change Research Program has found that the US is being affected by Global warming. These effects include
“increases in heavy downpours, rising temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening growing seasons, lengthening ice-free seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers, earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows
… affecting water, energy, transportation, agriculture, ecosystems, and health.
The report also found that water stresses are caused by climate change. The report said
“Drought, related to reduced precipitation, increased evaporation, and increased water loss from plants, is an important issue in many regions, especially in the West. Floods and water quality problems are likely to be amplified by climate change in most regions. Declines in mountain snowpack are important in the West and Alaska where snowpack provides vital natural water storage.”
The report also said
“Sea-level rise and storm surge place many U.S. coastal areas at increasing risk of erosion and flooding, especially along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts, Pacific Islands, and parts of Alaska. Energy and transportation infrastructure and other property in coastal areas are very likely to be adversely affected.”
The report also had some good news. It said that
“Health impacts of climate change are related to heat stress, waterborne diseases, poor air quality, extreme weather events, and diseases transmitted by insects and rodents. Robust public health infrastructure can reduce the potential for negative impacts.”
“Agriculture is considered one of the sectors most adaptable to changes in climate. However, increased heat, pests, water stress, diseases, and weather extremes will pose adaptation challenges for crop and livestock production.
Although Republicans have blocked a federal carbon cap-and-trade program and a national clean energy standard, thanks to new environmental technologies corporations are taking advantage of efficiency upgrades that save money by using less electricity that reduce corporate carbon footprints.
by Todd Miller
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