Wednesday, September 28, 2005

We're Just Warming Up, Folks

Arctic Ice Cap Shrank Sharply This Summer, Experts Say - New York Times:

"The floating cap of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer to what is probably its smallest size in a century, continuing a trend toward less summer ice that is hard to explain without attributing it in part to human-caused global warming, various experts on the region said today.

The findings are consistent with recent computer simulations showing that a buildup of smokestack and tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases could lead to a profoundly transformed Arctic later this century in which much of the once ice-locked ocean is routinely open water in summers.

It also appears that the change is becoming self sustaining, with the increased open water absorbing solar energy that would be reflected back into space by bright white ice, said Ted A. Scambos, a scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo., which compiled the data along with NASA.

'Feedbacks in the system are starting to take hold,' Dr. Scambos said. 'The consecutive record-low extents make it pretty certain a long-term decline is underway.'"

This trend is already accellerating faster than expected. Think we'll see even more tropical storms next year? Naaahhh! What are the odds? Just pitch-in, folks! And let's cut those pesky environmental restrictions that get in the way of producing more fuel for the fire! Yeah, that oughta' do it!

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