Home / News / Arctic ice melt indicates accelerated global warming, leading to severe winter storms and scorching summers
Arctic ice melt indicates accelerated global warming, leading to severe winter storms and scorching summers

Arctic ice melt indicates accelerated global warming, leading to severe winter storms and scorching summers

An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Canada and Alaska combined is gone.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released an animation that shows the daily average loss of sea ice between 1979 and 2012. Scientists say the drastic decline is sign of long term global warming.

In March this year, it was reported that the last decade has been the hottest worldwide, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture released data showing that warmer weather plants are now thriving further north.


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In 2012, the rate of ice loss for August was 91,700 square kilometers (35,400 square miles) per day, the fastest observed for the month of August over the period of NOAA's satellite observations. Oceans are 30% more acidic now and the atmosphere is 5% wetter in the oceans.

The ice melting has sped up. Scientists are warning that storms in the winter this year will be more likely to be extreme and summers will be hotter.

Monday, the UK's Guardian reported that Prof Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University is predicting the final collapse of Arctic sea ice in summer months within four years, which could lead to a global disaster.

As Cenk Uygur of The Young Turks points out, it does not matter whether global warming is the result of human activities or not — it is something that needs to be seriously addressed.


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Religious right and conservative activists in the United States argue that global warming is a myth. In 2010, for instance, the South Dakota legislature unanimously passed a resolution declaring that schools should teach that global warming is a scientific theory, not a scientific fact. A number of Republican state platforms referred to global warming as a myth this year, with Iowa's GOP declaring that "We believe that claims of human-caused global warming are based on fraudulent, inaccurate information and that legislation and policy based on this information is detrimental to the wellbeing of the United States. We deplore extremist scare tactics not based on scientific evidence. We recognize it as a plan to take our freedoms and liberties away from the people through legislation."

In 2010, religious right activists like Focus on the Family's Tom Minnery, the Family Research Council's Tony Perkins, the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission's Richard Land, Concerned Women for America's Wendy Wright, Home School Legal Defense Association's Michael Farris, National Religious Broadcasters' Frank Wright, WallBuilders' David Barton, and radio talk-show host Janet Parshall all teamed up to produce and appear in a documentary called "Resisting the Green Dragon" that warned that environmentalism represents "a great threat to society and the church" and called for "a biblical response to the times in which we live."


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About D. Beeksma

One of the growing crowd of American "nones" herself, Deborah is a prolific writer who finds religion, spirituality and the impact of belief (and non-belief) on culture inspiring, fascinating and at times, disturbing. She hosts the God Discussion show and handles the site's technical work. Her education and background is in business, ecommerce and law.
  • Peter

    I have a problem believing the claim an area the size of Canada and Alaska melted way, but I am not a climate change denier. I don’t know this source but I googled arctic sea ice melting and another site claimed it was the size of Canada and Texas! Not so, alarmist rhetoric by non-scientists. Here are the figures: Canada + Alaska= 4.4 million
    sq. miles. (As a nice guy I won’t use metric.) The Arctic Ocean is approx. 5
    million sq. miles. So, take that opening picture and diminish it by about 75%. Again, it didn’t happen.
    For instance, the Chinese sent a ship through the northern channel from the Pacific to Greenland. For much of the way they needed a Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker to clear a path. Arctic sea ice always diminishes in the summer but what the scientists are talking about is that the mass of ice, it’s thickness, is shrinking. This is particularly true for Greenland where the ice cap is melting (it’s 2 miles thick in places.) Last week an area the size of Prince Edward Island (2000 sq. miles) broke off. Another danger is
    the permafrost is diminishing in Canada’s far north and will release vast quantities of captured carbon dioxide, which compounds the problem. But real scientists know climate change is taking place.
    What worries Canadians, though, is we have a PM who does deny climate change and has a dismal record on environmental issues. In fact, he just denied funding for Environment Canada’s Arctic research stations. He’s a Dominionist who believes in the “end times” and figures JC will soon return and make everything right, so why worry!
    Another point. In the spring Environment Canada forecast an extremely hot and dry summer. It happened and we had record temperatures with little rain. Parts of Canada looked like the dust bowl. They forecast a very severe winter even by Canadian standards. I already tuned up my snow blower. Climate change is happening folks. Sorry, for the long post, but one paragraph wouldn’t do, this hits to close to home.

    • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

      I don't know. I'd say it's melting rather fast with the footage Jane Goodall showed in her recent movie. She could hear the ice falling at a rapid rate, which was recorded (yes, I know, this can be dubbed and all). Regardless, the Indians that live in that area are very concerned about the rate at which the ice is melting, as well as the food source they hunt in order to survive in that area.

      • Peter

        There's no question the sea ice is melting. But what got me is that headline that said that huge area melted. Never happened. And yes I'm well aware of the Inuit problem. Every year CBC anchorman Peter Mansbridge goes north for a week long documentary and has done for over 10 years. Very informative and tends to give us a better picture of the situation then inaccurate scare headlines. Another factor is the nations sniffing around to exploit the resources esp. oil as the ice recedes. Another environmental disaster in the making.

        • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

          Never happened? Then why does Science Daily confirm the story?
          http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/09/120919191214.htm

          • Peter

            What they're talking about is the extend of melting. What I was objecting to was that scare headline that the melt was the size of Canada + Alaska. If so, there would only be a relatively small ice cap at the north pole. But, it's scare headlines like that that give fodder to the deniers. They can produce pictures/videos showing it's not true meanwhile ignoring in their ignorance the real problems. They try to ignore Greenland where the changes are most dramatic. That's why the Chinese went there for those minerals,like oil and precious metals now recoverable. There is also a movement in Greenland to declare their independence from Denmark.

  • Bruce Richardson

    Global warming is generally accepted. It seems obvious that the earth has warmed since the end of the Little Ice Age (LIA). You should not say global warming when you are really talking and anthropogenic (human caused) global warming (AGW) or catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW). Those are three totally different things. You should not suggest that those of us who are skeptical of the CAGW claims don't think that it has gotten warmer over the last 100 years or that human activity has not likely caused some amount of warming.
    .

    The oceans are not 30% more acidic. In fact they are not acidic at all. Anyone with even a basic understanding of the chemistry of the oceans will tell you that the oceans are alkaline and will remain alkaline. That's because the oceans are a buffer system. They resist changes in pH. They will become very slightly less alkaline as they warm. It is doubtful that atmospheric CO2 increasing from around 0.033% to around 0.040% (that is seven one thousandths of a percentage point) would have a significant influence on ocean pH. We don't even know what the pH of the ocean is because it varies from location to location. How is it possible to get a truly representative sample of something as vast and variable as the oceans? We certainly don't know with any degree of accuracy what the pH of the oceans was 100+ years ago. The technology to measure pH to three decimal points did not exist back then. Even today it can be doubted because the complexity and variability of the chemical composition of sea water and the fact that the pH can vary significantly from location to location.

    • Peter

      Who are you talking to when you say "you." I'm confused.

  • http://www.houseofbetazed.com Mriana

    They deplore extremist tactics not based on science, as well as the taking away of freedoms and liberties, yet what do they do every day of their life? Use extremist tactics not based on science and take away people's freedoms and liberties. They try to brainwash people with mythology every day, putting other things above people. If we don't do something about nature, then people will not be able to survive on this planet. How stupid can they be?

  • de brown

    Simple google search reveals that the artic ocean is not as large as canada much less adding alaska to the square miles/meters.The moment I discern bogus facts i know there is a deception underlying the purpose of an article.!!!

    • Peter

      de brown see my post below. The arctic is larger by about 500 thousand sq. miles. However, that area for Canada is total area. If you remove all the lakes, etc, the land mass is smaller.

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