I haven’t blogged about climate change in many months. I guess it’s because I don’t even think about it any more. No, not from the James Inhoffe viewpoint, sticking my ignorant head in the ground and ignoring the issue. No, I don’t think about it because it’s a fact of life, just like the sun rising every morning. It’s happening, it’s relentlessly marching on, and at this stage, there’s absolutely nothing we can do to stop it. We’ve dug our grave…
But even as a scientist who knows the science behind climate change, I find the pace of change truly shocking. I find stories like this one truly shocking. It’s been a given that Arctic sea ice has been shrinking, but the pace of decline has outpaced even the most dire of predictions. Last week, it was officially announced that the Arctic sea ice was at its lowest level ever…and there were still a few weeks left in the melt season. What’s really shocking are the numbers, compared to just 30 years ago.
By area, Arctic sea ice covers 45% less area today than it did over the 1979 to 2000 average. HALF of Arctic sea ice gone, in the blink of a geologic eye. It’s even more shocking when you look at volume of sea ice, as it’s not just area that’s declined precipitously, it’s the volume of the remaining ice. The remaining ice continues to deteriorate in quality and thickness, and now is down an astounding 72% from the 1979 to 2000 average. THREE-QUARTERS of all Arctic ice…gone in one generation.
As the story above states, the pace of decline is outpacing all projections, and it’s now quite possible that in just 4 years, the Arctic will be completely ice-free in the summer.
The “good” news, I guess, if there is any? This could very well be the VERY last presidential election where one completely fucked up American political party denies the reality of climate change. Four summers from now, when ships are freely plowing across the Arctic Ocean without any pesky ice to stop them, it will be awfully damned hard for the greedy, ignorant, short-sighted SOB’s on the right to deny the reality of climate change. Of course, by then it will also be too late to do anything about it…since right NOW, it’s too late to do anything about it.