Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Arctic Sea Ice Hits Record Low

samzenpus posted about 2 years ago | from the learn-to-swim dept.

Earth 370

Titus Andronicus writes "Angela Fritz and Jeff Masters of Weather Underground analyze this year's record ongoing Arctic ice melt. Arctic sea ice extent, area, and volume are all at record lows for the post-1979 satellite era. The ice is expected to continue melting for perhaps another couple of weeks. Extreme sea ice melting might help cause greater numbers of more powerful Arctic storms, help to accelerate the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, and help to accelerate global warming itself, due to the increased absorption of solar energy into the ocean."

cancel ×

370 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Right then. (5, Funny)

ruadatha (1161071) | about 2 years ago | (#41256799)

Time to buy shares in boats - or just buy boats.

Wow. (-1, Flamebait)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41256911)

Record 35 year lows. That's never happened before in our 4.5 billion year history, you can be sure!

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256999)

If you are measuring for only 35 years, a 35 year low does not mean only 35 years. It means at least 35 years.

But take a look at the data. It looks like a death spiral. The trend from the data is undeniable. Calling the current extent a record low sort of misses the point because the current amount of ice is a tiny fraction of what it was two decades ago.

Re:Wow. (0, Troll)

cheater512 (783349) | about 2 years ago | (#41257205)

Yes but it is identical to three and a half decades ago.

I can equally say that two decades ago there was a unusually high amount of sea ice.

Re:Wow. (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257271)

Yes but it is identical to three and a half decades ago.

Where did you get that? Did you pull it out of your ass?

Citation please.

Re:Wow. (5, Informative)

steppedleader (2490064) | about 2 years ago | (#41257303)

If you look at TFA, the record low that was just surpassed was set between 2006 and 2009. The records only go back to 1979, but the previous record low was not set in 1979; rather, the trend has been downwards ever since the satellite observations began.

Re:Wow. (2)

Formalin (1945560) | about 2 years ago | (#41257109)

Satellite records of sea ice extent date back to 1979, though a 2011 study by Kinnard et al. shows that the Arctic hasn't seen a melt like this for at least 1,450 years

Re:Wow. (4, Informative)

warrigal (780670) | about 2 years ago | (#41257165)

William Ewing (Columbia Univ), back in the '50s, said that he had evidence of a 60-year freeze/thaw cycle for the Arctic Sea. Evaporation from an ice-free Arctic Sea fed snow falls on Siberia, Canada and Greenland resulting in glaciers sending floes into the Arctic Sea. As the Sea got covered up the evaporation slowed and so did the glaciers. Rinse and repeat.

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#41257311)

Just a reminder to all the "skeptics" here: There are plenty of climate markets on Intrade. If you think the anthropogenic influence is overestimated, you can make quite a bit of money betting against the prevailing opinion there.

For some reason, "alarmists" seem a lot more willing to put their money where their mouth is than "skeptics". So far, they have also won a lot more on it.

Re:Wow. (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41257255)

So, if it's happened sometime since the beginning of the planet, it's a situation we shouldn't worry about? Wrong. For the first 4 billion years, the planet was pretty primitive, and no state to support human life. In the remaining half-billion years there have been numerous extinction events [wikipedia.org] .. Five of them have been labelled major extinction events where 50 to 80 percent of all macroscopic genera went extinct. If we screw up this planet sufficiently, we might well be looking at the so-called "sixth extinction" which could be worse than any of them.

No big deal? We depend on other species to get clean water and eat. Or do you think food and clean water is made in factories?

Of course, shit happens, and humanity will probably go extinct eventually. But this looks to be happening in the next century or so. Maybe you don't care whether your species outlives you, but some of do.

Heaven Help Us (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256803)

It is all Bush's fault and don't you forget it.

Re:Heaven Help Us (0)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41256833)

Actually, I think it is all Clinton's fault. If he hadn't been such a tool, Bush never would have gotten elected.

Re:Heaven Help Us (-1, Troll)

Galactic Dominator (944134) | about 2 years ago | (#41256877)

SCOTUS elected Bush, there is little Clinton could have done to provoke a non-partisan action from them.

Re:Heaven Help Us (1)

macbeth66 (204889) | about 2 years ago | (#41256907)

ah, but that's just it. Clinton's behavior allowed Bush to do as well as he did. If Bush hadn't ridden the anti-Clinton wave, and hence the anti-Democrat wave, his showing would have been so abysmal as to preclude any judicial interference.

Re:Heaven Help Us (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257077)

And a dumb fucking electorate gave the cowboy the chance.

If we need to start blaming someone, blame the American people. They are dumb as shit and they elect idiots who don't give a shit about the planet. Given a choice between cheap gas for the SUV or a future for their grandchildren, what do you think they will pick?

Re:Heaven Help Us (1)

BlueStrat (756137) | about 2 years ago | (#41257181)

And a dumb fucking electorate gave the cowboy the chance.

If we need to start blaming someone, blame the American people. They are dumb as shit and they elect idiots who don't give a shit about the planet. Given a choice between cheap gas for the SUV or a future for their grandchildren, what do you think they will pick?

Yeah, we shouldn't give that stupid electorate a chance to interfere with what we say is right, and....

Heyyyy, wait a minute!!

Strat

Re:Heaven Help Us (0)

TapeCutter (624760) | about 2 years ago | (#41257327)

Ultimately it's the people's fault, IIRC the only thing that they were concerned about at the time was the presidential penis.

Re:Heaven Help Us (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257021)

Don't blame me, i drive a hybrid!

Anthropogenic Global Warming (3, Insightful)

cunniff (264218) | about 2 years ago | (#41256805)

It's here. Let's deal with it.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (-1, Troll)

Mashiki (184564) | about 2 years ago | (#41256831)

Uh...based on 33 years worth of data. Okay there, I guess the next time a severe winter storm comes up and we get 18ft of snow here I can claim the next ice age is coming. After all there used to be a mile thick ice sheet where my house is now.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256959)

Uh... the data we have from ice cores go back way more than 33 years.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257041)

RTFSummary

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257149)

RTFA:

Satellite records of sea ice extent date back to 1979, though a 2011 study by Kinnard et al. shows that the Arctic hasn't seen a melt like this for at least 1,450 years.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257275)

Kinnard et al. is a known climate change fabricator. He faked all that data. Anyway "science" is bullshit, because God created everything, and he can create anything he wants! He even created the devil and allows him to test you. You all think you're so smart, but God is smarter than you. He's letting the devil test you by planting fake evidence and dinosaur bones and stuff like that. God has ultimate power, and He could destroy the world in an instant, so I would be worrying more about your immortal soul than about 1,450 years of phoney satanic "evidence". When you are face to face with God, you will have to answer for the blaspheming you do today. Repent from "climate change" blasphemy and ask Jesus to forgive your sins of pride. Stop masturbating and start reading the bible, King James version. Time is running out, but not for the reasons you think.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (0)

santax (1541065) | about 2 years ago | (#41257315)

Or do like I do, masturbate while reading the bible! These things can be perfectly combined to enhance each other!

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (2, Interesting)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41257017)

No, it's just one more brick in the wall of evidence for global warming. That wall has plenty of bricks in it already.

At the time of the IPCC AR4 report in 2007 the best estimates were that the Arctic Ocean would be ice free sometime after 2040. At the rate we're going it's going to happen before 2020.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (4, Interesting)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | about 2 years ago | (#41257059)

Uh...based on 33 years worth of data.

Based on ice cores and seabed cores going back thousands of years.

Okay there, I guess the next time a severe winter storm comes up ...

This wasn't caused by one storm. There are nearly two million square kilometers of open water where there was sea ice a few decades ago, and that understates the problem because the ice is getting thinner by a bigger percentage than the extent is shrinking.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (5, Insightful)

Vintermann (400722) | about 2 years ago | (#41257331)

we get 18ft of snow

Quick quiz: What is more effective for getting more snowfall on a given winter day?

a) lower temperatures

b) more moisture in the air

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256881)

It's here. Let's deal with it.

Yup, because a four-day storm which broke up ice is anthropogenic warming.

Re:Anthropogenic Global Warming (2, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41257045)

Yup, that's where the natural variability part comes in. The storm broke up some of the ice but it was already set up to be easily broken. That same storm in 1979 wouldn't have had nearly the same effect because the ice was much thicker back then.

Options: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256815)

The Last Starfighter:
Lord Kril: Damage report!
Kodan Officer: Guidance system out. Auxiliary steering out.
Lord Kril: Divert! Divert!
Kodan Officer: She won't answer the helm! We're locked into the moon's gravitational pull. What do we do?
[sound of Lord Kril's eyepiece swinging over left eye]
Lord Kril: We die.

Re:Options: (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | about 2 years ago | (#41257065)

Alex Rogan: Yahoo!

Ice Tea... (0)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about 2 years ago | (#41256821)

I'm not a global warming naysayer, but are humans solely to blame for this? How much of it would have happened anyway? (I'm thinking of the sun's 11-year cycle and the recent larger-than-normal volcano activity)

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256827)

Burn the non-believer!

Re:Ice Tea... (2)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41257119)

Burn the non-believer!

And increase the CO2 content of the atmosphere? You should be sequestrated for such a dumb idea!

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

noobermin (1950642) | about 2 years ago | (#41257337)

No, bury him. That way his carbon will return to the earth. Burning him will contribute to CO2 levels.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

dakohli (1442929) | about 2 years ago | (#41256841)

The question to ask is, what are the long term patterns, have we stumbled into a natural cycle, perhaps we have just accelerated what was bound to happen anyways.

Re:Ice Tea... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257219)

And the answer is, for example, that the Greenland thaw is "right on time". It's part of a 150 year cycle.

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/07/25/unprecedented-greenland-surface-melt-every-150-years/

The "unprecedented" melt is only unprecedented until you look back to the 1930 even when Greenland experienced another unprecedented melt.
There is only one big problem with the global warming nowadays, it keeps the masses scared and prepared to accept ever increasing taxes.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256891)

Humans aren't to blame for the change, just for the rate of change. We may accomplish in 100 years what would have otherwise taken several thousand.

Re:Ice Tea... (5, Insightful)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41256899)

I'm thinking of the sun's 11-year cycle and the recent larger-than-normal volcano activity

I.e., any explanation except the actual one.

Re:Ice Tea... (5, Funny)

msauve (701917) | about 2 years ago | (#41256953)

"any explanation except the actual one."

Continuing to deny the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster is futile.

Re:Ice Tea... (4, Informative)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41256929)

There is natural variability but proxy studies of long term sea ice show it's been at least around 8,000 years since sea ice has been this low and more likely over 100,000 years during the last interglacial.

The Sun has been through three 11 year cycles since the first satellite went up in 1979 and there's not much correlation between it and sea ice in the record. Volcanoes would normally have a cooling effect and I'm not aware that there has been a significant increase in volcanic activity anyway.

The sea ice trends have been steadily downwards during the satellite era especially during the past 6 years as shown by the graphs on this page. [google.com]

Re:Ice Tea... (3, Insightful)

MobileC (83699) | about 2 years ago | (#41257023)

The sea ice trends have been steadily downwards during the satellite era especially during the past 6 years as shown by the graphs on this page.

Therefore...
Satellites cause ice melt.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

linatux (63153) | about 2 years ago | (#41257163)

It's the satellites causing the melt! De-orbit them all ASAP!!!

Re:Ice Tea... (5, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41256961)

If you look at the IPCC report (wg1 chapter 2 page 136 although it's already starting to get a bit old), there is still a (minimal) chance that none of it is caused by CO2, because human release of aerosols cause a cooling effect. Of course there are other considerations like methane, etc. Most scientific organizations say things like, "most of the warming we've seen is caused by humans....." Although 'most' is a wiggle word that accurately represents our uncertainty on the matter.

It's also helps to take this into perspective, look at this graph [uaf.edu] , you'll see that we keep talking about the summer extent; the winter extent hasn't changed much. The past year was right up there with 1990s average. And the annual change is dramatically larger than the change in either the summer extent or the winter extent. Also, it is arguably more important to measure the thickness of the ice, rather than the extent, but a falling summer extent might suggest the thickness is shrinking as well. We are measuring that now, but only for a few years.

In any case you should check out this amazing picture from the article [wxug.com] . Can you guess which direction the earth is spinning?

Re:Ice Tea... (3, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41257105)

Aerosols do cause a cooling effect but some of them, in particular carbon black [wikipedia.org] can increase the melting of ice when it settles on it.

Winter extent doesn't change much in the Arctic Ocean because it's constrained by the land around it. The only places it can grow out further is in the Bering Sea and between North America, Greenland and Europe. In contrast the sea ice around Antarctica melts nearly completely every year and reforms the again next year. It doesn't have the opportunity to build up the thick multi-year ice that exists (but not for much longer) in the Arctic Ocean. The difference between an ocean surrounded by land and land surrounded by ocean at the poles.

Of course the Earth is rotating from Alaska toward Greenland, the same way the storm is spinning.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41257139)

Aerosols do cause a cooling effect but some of them, in particular carbon black [wikipedia.org] can increase the melting of ice when it settles on it.

Yeah, it's a complicated topic. Which is why scientists are still researching it.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

manaway (53637) | about 2 years ago | (#41257155)

If you look at the IPCC report (wg1 chapter 2 page 136 although it's already starting to get a bit old), there is still a (minimal) chance that none of it is caused by CO2, because human release of aerosols cause a cooling effect. Of course there are other considerations like methane, etc. Most scientific organizations say things like, "most of the warming we've seen is caused by humans....." Although 'most' is a wiggle word that accurately represents our uncertainty on the matter.

Most climatologists, 97%, agree with AGW. An indication that "most" can have a measurable meaning. Of course like all measurements, it comes with an error rate or wiggle room. If you want to believe in all the minimal chances of things, buy a lottery ticket--just one should be enough.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 2 years ago | (#41257177)

Most climatologists, 97%, agree with AGW.

This is really a meaningless statement, because "agreeing with AGW" can mean things as diverse as "minimal warming affect" and "HUMANITY WILL SUFFER HORRIFIC CONSEQUENCES!!" Any survey I've seen of climatologists asks questions closer to the "minimal warming affect" end of the scale.

Re:Ice Tea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257269)

Of course there are other considerations like methane, etc.

Ah, blow it out your ass!

Re:Ice Tea... (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#41256963)

Well the problem with AGW in a nutshell is we are given NO options other than do nothing or carbon credits, which considering the ones that came up with credit default swaps [nakedcapitalism.com] or the ones writing the rules on carbon credits and cap & trade? uhhh...I think if that is the only choices i'll choose do nothing, thanks anyway.

The bitch is there are thing we can do WITHOUT using crap and trade that could make a difference, but because people like Al Gore, who just FYI has set himself up to be a a carbon billionaire [telegraph.co.uk] , can't profit from it? Its never mentioned. for example painting roofs white to reflect more sunlight, last study i saw had that simple thing dropping temps 5 degrees, if you likewise paint the streets white instead of leaving them black IIRC it would take another 15 degrees off, which anybody who has walked across pavement in the summer knows how much energy they absorb from the sun.

In the end the thing that proves to me the current AGW "leaders" are lying leeches is you have NEVER, not even once, seen Al Gore and pals talking about restricting trade with China, even though they are throwing so much pollution into the sky we can detect it in California...why? Because rev Al and pals make crazy monies from cheap Chinese labor, you stupid peasant you!

The current leadership has hijacked AGW and turned it into a massive scam. They want the corps to bail for China (where they can get the benefits of cheap labor and no environmental laws) while they raid what's left in your pocket with carbon taxes, which they will then avoid by going overseas or like Rev Al fucking scam by buying credits from HIS OWN COMPANY and then having the brass balls to say fucking off in a Lear jet is "carbon neutral" because he PAID HIMSELF TO DO IT!!! This would be like you or I moving money from our left to right pocket, calling it "wealth redistribution" and getting a fucking tax break for it!

If you want to cut down the pollution, or use cleaner tech? All for it, right there with ya, we do live in a closed system after all. But don't let the scammers fleece your pockets by saying "We're doing something!" when that something is about as productive as a game of three card monty for the player. in the end crap & trade and carbon credits will do NOTHING to help the environment, it'll simply reward the scammers.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about 2 years ago | (#41257019)

Offtopic a bit maybe? I don't disagree with anything you are saying but my question was, how much of an influence does man really have?

Again, don't get me wrong, I do my best to minimise my own impact on the environment, but is man's impact really large enough to melt all the arctic ice?

Re:Ice Tea... (4, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41257245)

I don't get this obsession with Al Gore. He's like a spokesmodel for global warming. Bypass him and go directly to the source. If you're making your decisions about the validity of global warming based on personal animosity you're doing it wrong.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#41257263)

restricting trade with China, even though they are throwing so much pollution into the sky we can detect it in California

Why does everyone blame China? Care to look in your own backyard? [google.com]

Mod Parent Down (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257389)

He actually proves the GP's point.

Per Capita (which is the graph he links to) shows the US trending down, and China trending up. That's nice, but considering that China has a population of around 1.3 billion versus the US population of around 305 million, even a moderate trend upwards has to be multiplied by over 4.

All of the other CO2 graphs show that China has put out more pollution than the US for a very long time. However 3 of them show that like the US, China too has been reducing their pollution as well. The only one showing an upward trend is the graph showing the kg of CO2 per kg of oil energy equivalent use.

captcha: illusion
I swear someone, somewhere has a really weird sense of humour.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

VortexCortex (1117377) | about 2 years ago | (#41257313)

So... What happens when we run out of shit to paint white, eh, genius?

Cap and trade (4, Insightful)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#41257369)

Remember when there was a problem with acid rain?

Sulfur dioxide restrictions were implemented flexibly by a cap and trade system. The economic impact was obviously manageable, and the problem got addressed.

It's instructive to look at the political history of the idea of using market forces to distribute the effort of pollution reduction. Look up whose idea it was in the first place.

Re:Ice Tea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257073)

> I'm not a global warming naysayer, but are humans solely to blame for this?

I`ll believe you about not being a naysayer (look around, there`s lots of idiots still dismissing the idea).

Now, my point is: we are to blame. It does not matter if we're not the first cause, but we're involved and that's not good. We're not even sure if this (possibly) natural cycle wouldn't reverse on its own... were it not for our interference.

We are part of the problem. And now we must think a way out of this mess.

Except some people keep naysaying and basically refuse to work on ideological grounds. A lot of conservatives simply keep wasting energy trying to make up excuses.

Pretty lame if you ask me.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41257095)

I'm not a global warming naysayer, but are humans solely to blame for this?

Of course not, it's the cows fault.
Let's nuke Wisconsin.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41257123)

(I'm thinking of the sun's 11-year cycle and the recent larger-than-normal volcano activity)

Well, some say that the recent larger-than-normal volcano activity may be an effect [telegraph.co.uk] rather than a cause (or, anyway, contribute in a positive feedback to GW).
And it's possible they are right [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

smi.james.th (1706780) | about 2 years ago | (#41257129)

Seriously? Increased carbon emissions increase volcanoes? This I've never heard before.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 2 years ago | (#41257225)

Seriously? Increased carbon emissions increase volcanoes? This I've never heard before.

Shifting mass distribution on the Earth crust causing adjustments in plate tectonics?

Un-possible! [wikipedia.org] </grin>

Re:Ice Tea... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257169)

Why does everybody forget that we're still in an inter-glacial period?
Of course it's warming. That's how we got out (and are still getting out) of the ice age.

10,000 years ago the ice was a mile high over NYC and central Europe. Now THERE's a real disaster. If we can stop the ice coming back, that would be good, wouldn't it?

Re:Ice Tea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257253)

FYI, the cycle is 22 years, not 11.

Re:Ice Tea... (1)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41257265)

Both theories have been pretty thoroughly debunked. I'd go look it up for you, but I've already done my share of debunking-the-already-debunked for the week.

Re:Ice Tea... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257277)

You should be. At least you should be questioning the causality issue. Sure, the earth is warming but the real "climate deniers" are those who claim that the earth climate does not vary by it self but only with human interference. That does not say that humans have not warmed the atmosphere, only that it is still to be determined whether our contribution is larger than the natural contribution, and perhaps most importantly, if our contribution is an overall bad or good. Before the media scared the masses senseless, CO2 used to be called the molecule of life (and it still is the molecule of life) but the guilt-centred western culture simply won't accept the whole picture.

Its Happening (4, Insightful)

dakohli (1442929) | about 2 years ago | (#41256825)

It is time to accept that this is happening. Time to make the most of it. There are remote communities that will be well positioned in the Canadian Arctic for incredible economical opportunities.

High Prices for Groceries [www.cbc.ca] could become a thing of the past once the ice opens up for longer periods of time.

The Northwest Passage has the potential to become more important than Panama

It may well be too late to stop the warming trend, we will have to make the best of it.

Re:Its Happening (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256847)

yes, and when india starves to death I'm sure the northwest passage will be sooo useful.

Re:Its Happening (3, Interesting)

dakohli (1442929) | about 2 years ago | (#41256985)

This is not the first time climatic [foxnews.com] change [sunysuffolk.edu] has had profound effects on the human race.

There will be "Population Adjustments" in the future regardless of what measures we take now. The earth can only support so many of us.

Our increasing population [arewetoast.com] has been cited by some to be the cause of climate change. I think they may well be inter-connected.

Let's face it, if the uber-hard-core folks had their way, we would be living a lifestyle from the 1700s. No electricity, no cars, no burning massive amount of fossil fuels. There would be no global economy because there would be no global transportation network. In fact our population would not only have to redistribute out of the urban centres, it would have to suffer a major reduction in numbers. Without modern farming techniques, you can only feed so many mouths.

However you slice it, there will be fewer people on the planet in the future, and it won't be a pleasant transition.

Re:Its Happening (3, Funny)

Black Parrot (19622) | about 2 years ago | (#41256895)

It may well be too late to stop the warming trend, we will have to make the best of it.

What I dread is scraping the foot-long dragonflies off the windshield of my flying car.

Re:Its Happening (0)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#41257097)

Except that the climate has already started to push up global food prices, especially through repeated droughts and floods.
And most domesticated grains (all except rice IIRC) show about a 10% yield decline per degree C of warming.

Oh POOP. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256875)

Honestly... THINGS CHANGE. So what does this mean? Easier shipping commerce by the Northern Route. This is BAD?

Seriously, what's the big deal about a glacier melting? It's not a work of fucking art, it's a large chunk of ICE!

I don't see a big down-side to melting ice.

Isn't this just hooting and hollering by people that just don't want CHANGE?

Re:Oh POOP. (1)

Shompol (1690084) | about 2 years ago | (#41257323)

Yeah, what's the big deal anyway? So some millions of people will die, and some billions will starve. Cap it with couple of nuclear wars because India and China will need to invade neighbours in the midst of rice riots. Some cities wiped by severe storms (those seem to be on the rise with warming). Maldives go underwater. All of this because oil and coal companies must maximise their profits no matter what, and so do politicians. I assume you have a nice bunker somewhere high above the sea level with enough food and porn stashed for the next 200 years?

Well, from our frame of reference (0, Troll)

kiriath (2670145) | about 2 years ago | (#41256897)

We say "all time low" when really what we mean is "for the past few years we've been keeping record of it". I love sensationalist stories like this. I'm not saying the ice hasn't melted a lot. I'm not saying the earth isn't warming. What I am saying is I doubt its the first in the millions of years of earth's history that it has gotten warm for a period. Then it'll get all cold for a while and everyone will be like "Oh no we stopped global warming too well...".

=D

Discuss.

Re:Well, from our frame of reference (1)

KingMotley (944240) | about 2 years ago | (#41256965)

Well we've finally done it. We are obviously headed toward a new ice age. We've hit an "all time coldest day" today as far back as I can remember the daily temps (today and yesterday). Everyone run out and buy winter gear (soon as I buy some stock in winter gear companies first thing tomorrow morning!). So run out and stock up (but wait until atleast 10am, thanks!).

Re:Well, from our frame of reference (2)

Beryllium Sphere(tm) (193358) | about 2 years ago | (#41256975)

It's nowhere near as good as satellite data, but we can infer data about past Arctic ice from geological observations.

It's important because it's not just an effect, it's a cause. Arctic ice levels affect climate patterns.

Pointing out that the climate has changed in the past does dispose of the idiots saying "Save the planet!", because the planet will be just fine. It does, however, hide the issue that matters to a lot of humans, which is whether we can still grow enough food for seven billion of us and continue having cities on coastlines.

Hoax!!! (0, Troll)

nysus (162232) | about 2 years ago | (#41256909)

The liberals are paying the scientists with government to make this stuff up so they have an excuse to destroy our way of life!! Liberals hate us and our way of life. They don't like us driving SUVs and eating meat. Don't believe their lies!!!

It's a hoax!!!!

Re:Hoax!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256939)

I hope you forgot to encapsulate that in some sarcasm tags, otherwise Liberals are the least bit of your worries.

Re:Hoax!!! (2)

nysus (162232) | about 2 years ago | (#41257025)

Who needs sarcasm tags when you've got exclamation points!!!!!!!?????

Re:Hoax!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256971)

The liberals are paying the scientists with government to make this stuff up so they have an excuse to destroy our way of life!! Liberals hate us and our way of life. They don't like us driving SUVs and eating meat. Don't believe their lies!!!

It's a hoax!!!!

Your way of life?? what way of life? Killing living things for pleasure?... wielding a gun just to feel more "macho"? ... destroying everything there is beautiful in nature just because you think that you are God's elect? ... invading nations to steal their resources?... etc, etc, etc? Most people with TWO FINGERS of forehead would NEVER like your way of life...

Re:Hoax!!! (-1)

nysus (162232) | about 2 years ago | (#41257015)

You HATE America!!!!! You are going to burn in eternal hell-fire, you godless, pot-smoking, pinko, hippie, latté-sipping, communist!!!!

Re:Hoax!!! (1)

pspahn (1175617) | about 2 years ago | (#41257057)

I hear the voice of Sam Kinison. I hope you are smoking a cigar, or drinking a beer, or eating some food or something like he would have done.

Re:Hoax!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256997)

Well, it's not like this is news in the sense of things within the grand scale. Shortly after the dinosaurs went extinct there was a large warm period which seems to contradict climatological eggheads. Can you say snakes? Can you say snakes that are beyond comprehension? Because they existed, whether you like it or not. And it was absolutely a natural occurrence. No carbon tax required.

Re:Hoax!!! (2)

formfeed (703859) | about 2 years ago | (#41257127)

If you take your pills only in the morning, you shouldn't post stuff at midnight.

Or... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41256955)

Or melting ice could cause massive algae blooms [stanford.edu] , pull staggering quantities of carbon from the ocean and perpetuate our 800,000,000 year old oxygen/nitrogen atmosphere.

Nah. There can't be any mechanisms in the biosphere to prevent the Earth going Venus. It has been surviving by pure luck all this time until we came along and ruined it.

Re:Or... (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257071)

I like how the very article you cited said the effect was "unlikely to make much difference."

Re:Or... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257125)

You forgot to mention the last sentence of that article: "Even if the amount of CO2 going into the Arctic Ocean doubled, it's a blip on a global scale".

Re:Or... (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 2 years ago | (#41257159)

Insightful.

WE ALL GONNA DIE!!! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257055)

AUUUUUUUUUUGH!

DOOOOOOOOOOOM!

Re:WE ALL GONNA DIE!!! (1)

rrohbeck (944847) | about 2 years ago | (#41257217)

All of us, sooner or later.
A couple billion prematurely, mostly children and elderly.
Remember world population is going to be significantly lower than today by the end of the century. There are two main ways to achieve that: war and famine.

Re:WE ALL GONNA DIE!!! (1)

noobermin (1950642) | about 2 years ago | (#41257233)

*Black Sabbath starts playing*

urine penis whores ramble fark fuck grep (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257117)

i wish i could urinate in my own anus and have music play from my colon as i flashed the peace sign and ate yogurt smeared across a dirty table.

Re:urine penis whores ramble fark fuck grep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257261)

Poor guy, your dick isn't long enough to reach your anus.

No no no... (1)

noobermin (1950642) | about 2 years ago | (#41257325)

`grep' is the command, it goes first.
Also, enclose the multiple words you want to grep for in quotes, unless you intend to grep multiple files...

It affects our weather (5, Interesting)

riverat1 (1048260) | about 2 years ago | (#41257187)

As the Arctic Ocean summer ice declines there is developing evidence it is having an effect on the northern polar jet stream, slowing it down and causing the meanders to get larger. This has the effect of bringing colder weather further south and warmer weather further north and slowing down the speed at which the weather moves through. That would explain why a few years ago when Florida was having freezing weather Greenland was practically balmy.

Cooling mechanisms (1)

JimboFBX (1097277) | about 2 years ago | (#41257193)

As earth heats up, cooling mechanisms should increase. It's not instantaneous of course. Until the cooling mechanisms outpace the heating mechanisms, ice is going to keep melting year after year. The speed ice melts probably has more to do with surface area, ice depth, and cloud cover more than ambient temperature.

Re:Cooling mechanisms (3, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | about 2 years ago | (#41257287)

And which cooling mechanisms are these? According to TFA, melting the polar icecap actually removes an important cooling mechanism. Other mechanisms, such as the ocean's ability to abosrb CO2, are pretty much maxed out. Do you have a planet size air conditioner nobody else knows about?

What about the Antartic? (0, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#41257321)

Hi there,

First of all there is some doubt about the data on the Artic Ice shrinkage. The new ice recording tool MASIE from the NOAA does not seem to show any record low. Neither does the multisensor IMS measurer. So it seems it really depends at what thermometer you are looking...

Second of all, let's look at Antartica. the ice coverage seems to be above average (from the NATICE data). Funny the media is not talking about it...

The point here is not to deny climate change. It is to point out that the media coverage is skewered towards sensationnalist dramatic announcements and we do not get all the facts of the debate. And no good rational decisions come from a debate fuelled only by sensationnalistic coverage like this.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?