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Huge Arctic Ice Shelf Breaks Off

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the getting-warmer dept.

Earth 736

knarfling writes "CNN is reporting that a chunk of ice shelf nearly the size of Manhattan has broken away from Ellesmere Island in Canada's northern Arctic. Just last month 21 square miles of ice broke free from the Markham Ice Shelf. Scientists are saying that Ellesmere Island has now lost more than 10 times the ice that was predicted earlier this summer. How long before the fabled Northwest Passage is a reality?"

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736 comments

Artic! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866633)

I hope it wasn't abstract artic, or else we're all doomed.

Re:Artic! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867429)

Important: As you can see from the "Firehose:Huge Artic Ice Shelf Breaks Off" link right below "Related Stories", this was originally misspelled, even on the front page release. It's fixed, however. Too bad.

1906 (2, Informative)

id (11164) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866645)

YES! How long until it is 1906 again?

Re:1906 (5, Informative)

vux984 (928602) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866753)

YES! How long until it is 1906 again?

The 'fabled' northwest passage is a shipping route linking east to west, navigable by normal cargo carrying ships.

The northwest passage, which obviously existed since well before it was first crossed in 1906 by Amundsen, and still to this day, is a hazardous journey requiring an expedition and specialist ice breaker ships to cross.

Should enough ice melt that it actually becomes usable as a shipping route, then at least the 'fabled northwest passage' will be reality.

Re:1906 (3, Insightful)

Bandman (86149) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866889)

But at least we can get our taiwanese crap even cheaper!

Re:1906 (3, Insightful)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866979)

No, sorry. By then, our currency will have dropped in value even more. Our wages will be on par with the Taiwanese. On the positive, the goods we ship to our Chinese overlords will be that much easier.

Re:1906 (5, Insightful)

JordanL (886154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867029)

I've noted this a couple of times, and every time I'm modded down or ignored in the circle-jerk of "open ideas" that is any Slashdot comment section.

I find it incredibly arrogant that people attribute symptoms that are several levels removed from the "cause" to a model like global warming.

This has nothing to do with whether or not I think global warming is real or not... as far as I know, the reality of CO2 retaining heat in labs is very well studied.

The thing is that before we paid much attention to this stuff, there was ONE real model that predicted a global temperature increase: global warming. It was not ignored before because "the man" was trying to hide science, it was ignored because there was NO effort to show an actual cause and effect relationship.

But eventually we got such sensational anectdotal information that the science of global warming was assumed. This becomes embarressing when things like the carbon retention of the Sahara are studied, as we discussed weaks ago, and suddenly billions of tons of carbon disappear from the air in our models, but the temperature hasn't changed at all.

I think it's one of the surest signs ever of our arrogance as a species that we had ONE well studied theory predicting temperature change, and when it did, we attributed it to that theory without much in the way of a causal relationship study.

The reason this worries me is that, while fighting pollution and emissions is never a bad thing, we could very well be ignoring the elephant in the room, simply because the global warming discussion has become so political, (and that's the activists faults, not the scientists). What if, although our carbon certainly doesn't help, most of this is due to cyclical sun output? No matter what we do, we would be screwed then, and we'd be focusing on the wrong questions.

You know what caused the onset of the iceages? North and South America connected at Panama, cutting of the Pacific-Atlantic currents, which cooled the entire Northern Hemisphere. I fear we may be missing something equally as subtle in our hunt to show how wrong those big, ugly troglodytes in the [insert commodity] industry are, and it's being enabled by our need as a species to vindicate ourselves at the expense of accurate information. (See: Bush)

Re:1906 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867447)

You know what caused the onset of the iceages? North and South America connected at Panama, cutting of the Pacific-Atlantic currents, which cooled the entire Northern Hemisphere. I fear we may be missing something equally as subtle in our hunt to show how wrong those big, ugly troglodytes in the [insert commodity] industry are, and it's being enabled by our need as a species to vindicate ourselves at the expense of accurate information. (See: Bush)

I think I am in love with you right now.

Re:1906 (-1, Flamebait)

Spy der Mann (805235) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867529)

I find it incredibly arrogant that people attribute symptoms that are several levels removed from the "cause" to a model like global warming.

Um... if global warming is real, don't you think it's a little too... low-IQ to assume that the ice sheets WON'T melt?

You know what caused the onset of the iceages? North and South America connected at Panama, cutting of the Pacific-Atlantic currents,

Ah, it seems you have some information that is not mentioned in wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. Oh, wait. Citation needed. Too bad.

Re:1906 (5, Interesting)

JordanL (886154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867589)

Ah, it seems you have some information that is not mentioned in wikipedia. Oh, wait. Citation needed. Too bad.

Normally I don't reply to people who reply to my comments, but I really must know:

Why in the world would you start your quest to prove me wrong on a corrolary point by quoting an article about a man-made structure constructed some 2 million years after the geologic event I was referring to?

Re:1906 (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867637)

While I agree wholeheartedly with what you have written, you have to keep in mind that it would be somewhat impossible to directly proof cause and effect on such a scale as this. It would be better to error, I think, on the side of caution and simply reduce pollution. Pollution rates are something that we can practically control in comparison to other influences such as the sun are concerned. We should all just pray that we're not near any of the tipping points commonly talked about. Sometimes I really worry that we've all had it too good for too long and a much grimmer future is just over the horizon...

Re:1906 (3, Funny)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867647)

GAH, the Suns effect on temperature increase has been studied, and in fact if that was what is causing, the temperature Range would change up and down daily to match what the sun does. It does not. Nor does it's output match the long term trend.

This. Has. Been. Done.

Stop bringing this up, It's passed on! This hypothesis is no more! It has ceased to be! It's expired and gone to meet 'is maker! It's a stiff! Bereft of life, It rests in peace! If ignorant people wouldn't keep bring it up it'd be pushing up the daisies! 'Is metabolic processes are now 'istory! It's off the twig! It's kicked the bucket, it's shuffled off 'is mortal coil, run down the curtain and joined the bleedin' choir invisibile!! THIS IS AN EX-HYPOTHESIS!

Re:1906 (0, Troll)

JordanL (886154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867709)

You completely missed the point, which was not "I think global warming is stupid and the sun is responsible", but rather "I think it's stupid that we create a theory, provide no cause and effect relationship, gather data that shows effect, the proclaim cause while something else may be going on".

I'm going to laugh my ass all the way to the grave if global warming activists kill us all because of an understudied field of science (ecology) led us to ignore other possible cause and effect relationships.

And I took special care to not invalidate global warming in my post. So don't get your panties in a twist, I haven't rained upon your parade.

Re:1906 (3, Funny)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867735)

GAH, the Suns effect on temperature increase has been studied, and in fact if that was what is causing, the temperature Range would change up and down daily to match what the sun does. It does not.

....? Why was it 97 degrees saturday, 101 sunday, and then 86 monday in July that one week? *confused*

Re:1906 (4, Interesting)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867741)

I think it's one of the surest signs ever of our arrogance as a species that we had ONE well studied theory predicting temperature change, and when it did, we attributed it to that theory without much in the way of a causal relationship study.

I find it arrogant to condem the entire species for the logical errors of a few dirty, dirty hippies!

Kidding about the dirty hippies part, but I do have a real point: the debate about global warming is non-scientists using non-scientific arguments to advance their non-scientific prejudices reguardless of truth.

Emphasis on the non-science part there. Just want to clarify that it's not that no one is trying to prove cause and effect, it's that most of the noise has nothing to do about hypothesis testing.

I also don't know about calling it arrogance. We know CO2 soaks up heat and we know there's a lot of CO2 being released. That right there to me justifies taking preventative steps. Of course, there are a powerful few very opposed to this. The resulting controversy is very predictable. It would be nice to pre-empt that with hard science, but it remains to be seen if proving it wrong or right is possible. It would also be great if we could just deal with it once we know for sure, but of course we have reason to suspect that would be a foolish way to go.

The flaw in the species that I see is the inability to see things as more than a dichotomy. It seems like too many people have boiled it down to "Do we save the environment or the economy," been unable to answer that, and settled for which advocates do they like better, the hippies or the lawyers?

Re:1906 (5, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867751)

The thing is that before we paid much attention to this stuff, there was ONE real model that predicted a global temperature increase: global warming. It was not ignored before because "the man" was trying to hide science, it was ignored because there was NO effort to show an actual cause and effect relationship.

Spoken like a person who's never read a paper on the subject. The study of climate change is part models and part real-world data gathering and testing. Even among models alone, there are *many different* models, most on particular aspects of climate forcing and impacts, not the more famous global models. There is not one "model". And it wasn't ignored, by any standard; it's been an active ongoing research topic in the scientific community for decades. Peer review is the judge, not public opinion.

This becomes embarressing when things like the carbon retention of the Sahara are studied, as we discussed weaks ago, and suddenly billions of tons of carbon disappear from the air in our models, but the temperature hasn't changed at all.

Waht arr yoo talkng abowt?

The reason this worries me is that, while fighting pollution and emissions is never a bad thing, we could very well be ignoring the elephant in the room, simply because the global warming discussion has become so political, (and that's the activists faults, not the scientists). What if, although our carbon certainly doesn't help, most of this is due to cyclical sun output?

No. Read section 2.7 [ucar.edu], which summarizes pretty much every peer-reviewed paper published on the subject. Not even close. I mean, seriously -- did it never occur to you that maybe, just maybe, we have observatories and satellites studying in detail essentially every thing the sun does, in addition to all kinds of long-term proxy data?

You know what caused the onset of the iceages? North and South America connected at Panama, cutting of the Pacific-Atlantic currents, which cooled the entire Northern Hemisphere.

Ice ages happen regularly, on the order of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, along the lines of Milankovitch cycles. The Isthmus of Panama formed once, three million years ago.

Re:1906 (2, Informative)

JordanL (886154) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867805)

Ice ages happen regularly, on the order of tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, along the lines of Milankovitch cycles. The Isthmus of Panama formed once, three million years ago.

While an ice sheet on Antarctica began to grow some 20 million years ago, the current ice age is said to have started about 2.58 million years ago. During the late Pliocene the spread of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere began. Since then, the world has seen cycles of glaciation with ice sheets advancing and retreating on 40,000- and 100,000-year time scales called glacials (glacial advance) and interglacials (glacial retreat).

*sigh* It appears that once again, Slashdot has tried to avoid the meta-argument I pose in favor of disecting the randomly posed scenarios which I used to create such an argument.

I believe the phrase is... "Move along, nothing to see here"...

sorry (3, Funny)

A little Frenchie (715758) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866677)

I just wanted an ice cube...

Re:sorry (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866729)

An ice cube?

Look, it was one thing when I could never find any ice in the trays in my freezer. But now a whole ice shelf?

I know whiskey on the rocks is a tasty drink, but seriously this is getting out of hand. It's time for an intervention.

Confused (0, Troll)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866689)

So is the arctic ice getting more or less when an ice shelf breaks off and floats away without actually melting? Anyhoo, global warming is good - it snowed last weekend.

Re:Confused (2, Interesting)

mikael (484) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867091)

Large blocks of ice thousands of years old are breaking off and move along the ocean currents until they melt. During the winter months, the surface water freezes. Given that 90% of an iceberg is underwater, wouldn't this mean that the water itself is warming and not the atmosphere?

Re:Confused (2, Insightful)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867663)

"Anyhoo, global warming is good - it snowed last weekend."

Did you ahve a point besides showing everybody your complete ignorance of global warming and it's effect?

From TFA... (3, Informative)

capnkr (1153623) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866691)

Ellesmere Island was once entirely ringed by a single enormous ice shelf that broke up in the early 1900s. All that is left today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover little more than 299 square miles.

So this is a process that has been going on for ~100 years now? And that means it is indicative of, or news because... ???

Nothing to see here... (except my dwindling karma... ;) )

Re:From TFA... (2, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866831)

And that means it is indicative of, or news because... ???

It's faster and more extensive than ever before, and faster than expected.

That's pretty much it.

Re:From TFA... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867587)

And that means it is indicative of, or news because... ???

It's faster and more extensive than ever before, and faster than expected.

That's pretty much it.

faster and more extensive...

is relative.

Re:From TFA... (5, Informative)

flaming error (1041742) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866865)

Looks like you picked an excerpt that, posted out of context as you did, suggests no short term change. But here are the paragraphs that follow (emphasis mine):

Martin Jeffries of the U.S. National Science Foundation and University of Alaska Fairbanks said in a statement Tuesday that the summer's ice shelf loss is equivalent to over three times the area of Manhattan, totaling 82 square miles -- losses that have reduced Arctic Ocean ice cover to its second-biggest retreat since satellite measurements began 30 years ago.

"These changes are irreversible under the present climate and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present," said Muller.

During the last century, when ice shelves would break off, thick sea ice would eventually reform in their place.

"But today, warmer temperatures and a changing climate means there's no hope for regrowth. A scary scenario," said Muller.

Re:From TFA... (1)

Jack9 (11421) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867811)

God forbid the earth revert to a state it existed in before the last ice age. About as scary as, not being scary at all.

Re:From TFA... (5, Interesting)

knarfling (735361) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866893)

Because it is not reforming as ice. Over the last 100 years, pieces of the shelf would break off and then other ice would reform and take its place. But over the last few years, ice is breaking off and it is too warm for other ice to form into the shelf.

One of the effects is that fresh water environments were formed on the shelf. When the shelf breaks off, salt water rushes in and kills all the organisms that grew there. Some haven't been studied well, and the chance to study them has been lost.

Another affect is more political. If enough ice breaks off, there will be a NorthWest passage where ships can sail around the North of Canada.

On July 30 of this year, scientists predicted that a chuck of ice would break off. The chunk that actually broke off was 10 times the size predicted. Not sure why the big difference, but that is a bit scary to me. What is it that these scientists missed? Were temperatures warmer than expected? or did they just make a bad judgement with the info they had?

Re:From TFA... (4, Insightful)

Joe Snipe (224958) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867171)

The chunk that actually broke off was 10 times the size predicted.

They probably downplayed the size to keep getting their grant monies.

Re:From TFA... (3, Insightful)

rjhubs (929158) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867563)

Why are you so surprised? Have scientists previously shown an ability to accurately predict how much ice will break off? Do we have a long record of ice breaking off the the factors that contributed?

My guess is, any scientist who tries to predict the outcome of a small event that is influenced by many, many, many large factors will more than likely miss something and be off.

This is a knock at climate scientists or scientists in general, I'm sure they tried to look at every factor they could think of. But after you look at all those factors (spent all that time and money) you are required to make a prediction whether you think it'll be close or not. You can't just walk away and say I'm really not sure. You make a prediction and if its wrong you say what you said.. well we must have missed something, get more funding and do it again.

Re:From TFA... (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867669)

The problem is it's not getting warmer across the globe.

If one year in the "trend" you seem to claim exists breaks the "trend", does your theory still hold true? Especially when the period with the most CO2 in the air was a "frozen era"? With Times going so far as saying there would be a global ice age?

"Science: The study of things for money, because pure science wasn't lucrative. When science fails to make money, bring politicans. When they fail, bring lawyers. When the theory breaks, change the theory."

And solar eclipses happen every few years... (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866937)

...do you complain about the news covering this every. single. time. it happens as well?

Others might say that reporting about some satellite that watches the oceans is absolutely yawn-worthy... satellites get launched all the time, many of them to observe our planet, what makes that one so special? And you might say because it may help give further information on rogue waves; thus it was news to you and I'm sure you're glad it was reported - even if it doesn't seem particularly noteworthy to most.

The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day... (2, Insightful)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866705)

The climate change proponents will probably try to make a bigger deal out of this than it really is. I take the stance that I'm not educated enough on Earth's climate to have a valid opinion on climate change, but I do find it strange that they never mention the tropics have been colder than usual these past few years. I live in Mackay, Queensland, and this year's winter was probably the coldest I've seen here (though I have only been here eight years).

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866825)

It realy is amazing that those who seek to deny climate change point to regionalized changes as an indication that "it's not getting warmer".

That's not the point. The point is that it is getting warmer on a global average and that some areas will be more affected than others.

The melting of polar ice caps to the extent they are will have impacts such as potential changes in ocean currents. The impact of that change will have even greater affect on regions where climates are moderated by the heat brought in or removed by those currents.

How it all plays out remains to be seen but it's likely to have dire consequences for some regions and relatively little affect on others.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (0, Flamebait)

MrBigInThePants (624986) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867673)

What's even more amazing is he starts his post pointing out that he does not know what he is talking about...yet is insightful in some way.

Perhaps about the fact that his insight is not?

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (2, Interesting)

peragrin (659227) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867713)

So what? We know for a fact when the dinosaurs roamed the earth several degrees warmer than it is now. We also know the average CO2 level was quiet a bit higher.

We know that the earth goes through periodic ice ages, does it not make sense that it also goes periodic warm cycles? or is such a fact beyond the ability of reason? Ice shelves routinely break off. We know this is true. how because they aren't millions of years old but only thousands.

If they melt and reform over the course of 100 thousand years and the human race is what 40,000 years old who are we to judge what is the acceptable rate for melting ice caps?

We Also know for a fact that ice ages tend to happen in a hurry. The initial ice forms quickly, grows slowly, and then melts. would it not make sense for the warm cycles to follow a similar pattern?

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (5, Insightful)

tantrum (261762) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866915)

The climate change proponents will probably try to make a bigger deal out of this than it really is. I take the stance that I'm not educated enough on Earth's climate to have a valid opinion on climate change, but I do find it strange that they never mention the tropics have been colder than usual these past few years. I live in Mackay, Queensland, and this year's winter was probably the coldest I've seen here (though I have only been here eight years).

I find it worrying that people say "I don't know enough, so i don't believe it" about climate changes.

I'm the first to admit that i haven't got the faintest clue if we are rapidly accelerating a climatechange. However I think it is better to err on the side of caution than hoping it all blows over

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (0, Troll)

NoobixCube (1133473) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867039)

Yeah, I didn't say I don't believe it, I just meant that they never seem to mention regions that have gotten colder when they're trying to 'educate' the masses.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867425)

Yeah, I didn't say I don't believe it, I just meant that they never seem to mention regions that have gotten colder when they're trying to 'educate' the masses.

Hello? Have you *seen* the movie "The Day After Tomorrow"?! Global warming will make everything deathly cold.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (1)

tantrum (261762) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867475)

didn't really mean to pick on you in perticular, was just an observation :)

been mighty nice weather in Norway the last year, so this global warming thingy might actually benefit me. Unlike most of the world, that is.

Still, I'd like to no fuck too much with this planet anyways.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867207)

I find it worrying that people say "I don't know enough, so i don't believe it" about climate changes.

I find it worrying that the reading comprehension level is so low.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867243)

He didn't say he doesn't believe in global warming. He said he is not educated enough to have a valid opinion. Bit of a difference there.
What if the earth was going to enter a cold period, or an ice age, and all our man-made global warming is actually stopping that? How long has man-made global warming been going on? In the last ~100 years since the industrial revolution, or the last ~8000 years when farming spread throughout the world?
What happens when we stop warming it, and it cools off too much.
Maybe we are warming it up much, maybe note. IANAP

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (5, Insightful)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866975)

No, we have our field days when so-called "sceptics" follow up every story that even remotely concerns climate with stupid non-sequiturs, and point to single points of "evidence" against global warming as if they somehow were relevant. Like when junkscience.com presents a "global mean temperature" with sharp differences between day and night and summer and winter, or some idiot on Slashdot points to the weather in fucking Queensland.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (4, Insightful)

Balial (39889) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867417)

Could you possibly explain how the weather in Queensland is more of a single point of "evidence" than an ice shelf breaking off?

Both are arbitrary anecdotes, which I believe was the parent's original point.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867549)

...some idiot on Slashdot points to the weather in fucking Queensland.

hey, what's wrong with Queensland? The weather is great here. :)

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (1, Funny)

marco.antonio.costa (937534) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867605)

Yea, like "evidence" is something the global warming consensus is going to bother with. They have a CONSENSUS goddammit! You better watch what you say, or they just might burn you at the stake. With ethanol, of course. :-)

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (2, Informative)

Bashae (1250564) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866991)

I don't have time to find a source right now, but didn't a linked-to-by-slashdot article one or two weeks ago mention the variations in some ocean currents as the cause? Something about them delaying serious global warming until the next decade or so.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867129)

Global warming does not imply that all areas will be warmer, just that the world, on average, will be.

In fact, one of the reasons people are so concerned about it is because such warming could (and almost certainly would) alter current weather patterns, causing some areas to become much warmer, or colder, or much dryer or inundated by rain.

Much of that danger is sheer unpredictability. Places in the world that currently support major agriculture could dry up; dryer areas, or coastal ones, could be flooded or washed out.

Think of it this way: pumping more *heat* into the atmosphere is in many ways functionally equivalent to adding more *energy*. You shake up a system, you drive it harder, and it can change in surprising ways, amplifying some behaviors and damping out others. In a system as complicated as the entire Earth, the changes could be dramatic indeed.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (1)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867697)

The warmest periods on earth supported gigantic creatures and even larger plantlife.

Why is this a bad thing? I love the cold and I really can't see a negative to seeing india and florida flood in exchange for bumper crops across the globe, or giant forests, or what have you.

Dinosaurs would be cool too.

No one's a climate change proponent! (1)

EWAdams (953502) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867179)

I don't think anyone is actively in favor of making the climate worse than it already is, except maybe pentecostalists.

There seem to be an awful lot of climate change Pollyannas around though.

Did it occur to you that the tropics being colder than usual might not be a good thing either?

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (1)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867187)

If you don't have the education and knowledge to have your own opinion, then why is your opinion so different from the scientists who do have the education and knowlege?

I smell bullshit here.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867221)

You understand of course that extra energy in the system causes larger fluctuations right? The global average will increase, but so will the variance. Your colds will be colder, and your hots will be hotter. This might also change weather patterns so rain might no longer fall where expected, or might fall where it's not expected. All that ice is a hedge against huge and quick climate change. When ice freezes it releases heat into its surroundings. When it melts it's absorbing some of that heat. If it runs away, the system will race to a new thermal equilibrium which could take any number of forms we can only guess at. What we do know about the new thermal equilibrium is it will probably be drastically different to what we're used to, what we evolved to exploit, and it won't be interested in whether or not we find it suitable. I'll be dead before any such eventuality comes to pass so it's literally not my problem. I've no illusions about the universe's impression of my snowflake character. But if we can agree that it'd be a good idea for humans to avoid a massive selection event, then now is the time to start addressing some of that. While it's still a choice.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (2, Insightful)

hoofinasia (1234460) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867317)

File this under "normal response." The quacks say warmer, and nobody sees it. That might be because we're talking about a 100 year average of +5 degrees. There's no way anyone would ever feel that minute of a change. Except glaciers, tundra lines, permafrost, and ocean temp. Mind you, I'm not saying you should believe, just that belief or even perception isn't required.

Re:The Climate Change Guys Will Have a Field Day.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867487)

The climate change proponents will probably try to make a bigger deal out of this than it really is. I take the stance that I'm not educated enough on Earth's climate to have a valid opinion on climate change, but I do find it strange that they never mention the tropics have been colder than usual these past few years. I live in Mackay, Queensland, and this year's winter was probably the coldest I've seen here (though I have only been here eight years).

You aren't educated enough. The climate models call for more extreme climate shifts both colder and warmer with the over all average being warmer. Also the tropics change the least and the Arctic regions change the most. The models have been around for years and so far the biggest errors have been underestimating the rate of change. There will be years when the changes will reverse simply due to yearly variations it's the general trend that has changed. Saying you had a colder winter so global warming is wrong is like saying it's warmer in August so winter cooling is a myth. Weather patterns are measured decades, hundreds of years and thousands of years not months and years. Yearly changes are meaningless when talking about long range trends.

Never, hopefully. (4, Interesting)

Jorophose (1062218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866777)

The day the NWP is a reality is the last day of Canada as an independant country.

I'm not ready to give up my home and native land that quick. But how am I to stop US forces, or worse, Russian or even Chinese, should they set their eyes on the NWP?

Re:Never, hopefully. (3, Funny)

Brynath (522699) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866847)

All is going according to Alaska's plan:

1: Join forces with the USA (check)
2: Wait for NWP to open up (almost there)
3: Annex Canada!!!

Re:Never, hopefully. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867047)

I heard from my cousin's friend's sister's roommate's father's dog that Palin's daughter was the one that really joined forces with the USA.

Oh, I see..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867279)

that you are a neo-con living in texas.

Re:Never, hopefully. (4, Interesting)

Jerry Rivers (881171) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867699)

This simply is not so. Have no fear my friend, because the NWP represents enormous value to Canada. Those who want to use it will pay handsomely, and this in turn will pay for Canada's defence of her Northern sovereignty. Those who argue that it is an International waterway will be the first to cry for help from Canada when their oil tanker hits an iceberg, and it will be Canadians who will be left with with another Exxon Valdez disaster. So Canada will mightily defend her territory, and it is in the best interests of the U.S., Russia, China and others that Canada be happy, well paid, and a willing participant in the movement of goods through the North.

As for the manifest destiny bluster from the South - ignore it. The U.S. has neither the time, massive resources, or manpower to have a prayer of ever annexing Canada. What they gonna do? Put one cop in every town 500 miles apart? They can barely manage tiny Iraq, let alone the second largest country on earth.

The Northwest Passage is open (4, Informative)

Jon Abbott (723) | more than 5 years ago | (#24866809)

How long before the fabled Northwest Passage is a reality?

From what I read [sciam.com] the other day, it is open now...

Re:The Northwest Passage is open (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867731)

Set up a toll booth?

Northwest Passage (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866857)

The Northwest Passage is already a reality. (http://nyhederne.tv2.dk/article.php/id-15085891.html) (in Danish).

Front Page news (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866891)

Wow this news article is front page news on most every news web site, except in Canada!!! WTF eh!

al gore will save us! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24866959)

quickly climate change man! to the al-gore-mobile!

And The Award Goes To.... (5, Funny)

DougF (1117261) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867009)

From TFA:

...we're looking at ecosystems on the verge of distinction.

I know almost nobody reads TFA, but apparently no one edits them, either.

Just for me? (1)

arizwebfoot (1228544) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867037)

Can I have mine shaken and not stirred with that wee bit of ice?

Perhaps a Manhattan? Too much ice?

I know, lets tow it to Mexico and have a hella'va Margarita party!!

What percentage is that? (2, Interesting)

georgep77 (97111) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867045)

So arctic ice extent varies (seasonally) between about 4 and 13 MILLION square kilometers. I'm guessing it's at the minimum for the year (it is the end of summer after all) so lets say 4,000,000 km^2. Hmmm 100km^2.... what is that about 0.003%. Why is this news?
    I much prefer the story of the Polar Defense Project! (Kayak guys who are stuck in ice 1000km from the pole).

Cheers,
    _GP_

Re:What percentage is that? (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867755)

This is news because 70% of the arctic ice is one-year old, 1 meter thick, and this is very old, 130-foot thick ice. This is also news because it is permanent ice that broke off, not any part of the ice that melts and refreezes every year.

Sweet... new unit of measurement (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867185)

Um, I'm sorry, can you please explain that in terms of numbers of Manhattans? I can't actually visualize anything more than about 10 square feet.

But Slashdot told me it would all be melted by now (1, Troll)

Kohath (38547) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867397)

In early June, Slashdot told me all the ice would be melted by now [slashdot.org].

There must still be ice up there. Is anyone getting tired of these stupid alarmist stories?

Ice melts in the summer and freezes in the winter. Get over it.

Re:But Slashdot told me it would all be melted by (3, Insightful)

yotto (590067) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867729)

Actually, Slashdot *REPORTED* that the *NORTH POLE* *MAY* be ice free by September. Not that the entire area north of the Arctic Circle would be tropical. But sensationalist hyperbole is fairly common around here I suppose.

Oil! (5, Funny)

mosb1000 (710161) | more than 5 years ago | (#24867501)

"How long before the fabled Northwest Passage is a reality?"

And when can we start drilling for oil up there?

Anonymous Coward. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867519)

Global warming is most evident in corals, both bleaching, RTNing and STNing. What I mean by this is, that these events do happen normally, but in the past recovery was much more likely because of a higher PH, less pollution, less endemic predators(crown of thorns starfish) and lower global water temps (many sps corals do not grow well in higher then normal temps ie: above 80 to 85 degrees)

Ice shelves to me are not determinant of a global temperature change, but rather with our oceans, increased atmospheric CO2 equates to a lessening ability of the worlds ocean to maintain a proper PH of 8.3 so this large CO2 sink, creates a more acidic environment in our oceans.

In the end world all funked.

"goodbye and thanks for all the fish"HGTTG

Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867527)

This in conjunction with no sun spots on the sun for how many days in a row..Earth and Sun are conspiring against us man...All because we keep talking about leaving this solar system

Northwest Passage open when? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24867683)

Right after the next ice age, which should be starting in a few years. It doesn't have to get much cooler for an ice age, just a lot wetter. A few degrees lower than we are now would do it.
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