Here’s a compelling video from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It illustrates how rapidly the Arctic ice cap is disappearing. Pay particular attention to the white areas, which represent older ice.
The time-lapse animation shows the ice cap as organic, like a self-regenerating amoeba with white organelles, as if it were truly alive. It is, in a way. And quickly dying.
The time to halt this trend is getting away from us. In A Change in the Weather, the summer ice disappears completely in 2018. I don’t want that to be right.
Once we cross the threshold to an open Arctic, can we go back? It seems more likely that a positive feedback loop of further warming and further melting will have been set into irreversible motion. When the first ice melts in a glass of soda, the rest is soon to follow.
Our Hail Mary is a World War 2 style effort to get off fossil fuels as fast as possible, and encourage as much plant growth to absorb the excess carbon we’ve injected into the atmosphere, particularly in the great forests. Stop the clearcutting, and especially stop converting forests to livestock pasture. And enact a nationwide carbon tax.
Save the ice cap.
2 responses to “It’s Alive — And Dying”
Polar ice-cap melting by 2018 . . . that is quite sobering. How do you feel about living and owning property in California at this point? Are you concerned about the availability of water?
I’m concerned about water. Not sure it makes much difference where you are in the long run. The only way to cope with this situation is through cooperation.