TH!NK post

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Good news presented as bad

Published 08th October 2009 - 2 comments - 937 views -

Tuesday's press release from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center was titled "Arctic sea ice extent remains low; 2009 sees third-lowest mark". On the face of it, then, more bad news that fits the end-times narrative. But if one reads between the lines, what becomes clear is that there has been a substantial expansion of "second-year ice" — floes thick enough to have disappeared through two summers of melting. This might suggest that the Arctic is experiencing a break from the recent series of dramatic summer meltdowns.

And more good news: The National Snow and Ice Data Center says that second-year ice made up 32 percent of the total ice cover on the Arctic Ocean this summer, compared to 21 percent in 2007 and nine percent last year.  

All this raises questions about an established idea, which goes like this: As white ice melts, solar energy that would have been reflected back into space is absorbed by the dark sea and that heat then melts existing ice, thereby shortening the winter season. Could the ice recovery noted by the National Snow and Ice Data Center cast doubt on this theory and give the sceptics ammunition to discredit the gloom mongers?  Worse, might a reprieve for Arctic ice endanger the heartbreaking disappearing-polar-bear meme

Category: Polar Regions, | Tags: ice, polar, solar, theory, media, sceptics,



Comments

Vanderhaeghen on 08th October 2009:

Interesting, perhaps there’s a link to the lower carbon emissions this year due to the crisis?
(see: http://climatechange.thinkaboutit.eu/think2/post/long_live_the_economic_crisis/ )

Eamonn Fitzgerald on 08th October 2009:

Interesting, indeed, Waldo. Thanks.

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