Open Water at the North Pole?!

“It seems unthinkable, but for the first time in human history, ice is on course to disappear entirely from the North Pole this year,” reads the first line of an article published today in the Independent (by Steve Connor).  The chances of all ice at the North Pole melting this  year are greater than 50:50.  Melting of polar ice is undeniably a result of global warming, and the implications of melting ice foreshadow even higher water temperatures as a result.  The thing is, that when sea ice melts, more ocean water is exposed – and this open water heats more rapidly than ice does.  This causes the water temperature to rise and makes it harder for new ice to form in cooler temperatures.  A friend of WILD and local Boulder scientist, Dr. Mark Serreze (US National Snow and Ice Data Center) comments in the article that the odds of an ice-free North Pole this summer are close to 70%, and also noted that “From the viewpoint of science, the North Pole is just another point on the globe, but symbolically it is hugely important.  There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water.”  Read how WILD is addressing global climate change………

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