The Latest Evidence for Global Warming: Disappearing Arctic Ice

Durable old ice is disappearing in the Arctic. That's not a good sign.

By + More

By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog

For those Americans who still cling to the hope that global warming is some liberal stunt and science has yet to prove that man has induced climate change, I have this news to share:

Arctic ice continued its decline this winter, with hardy, thicker old ice increasingly being replaced with quick-to-melt, thinner young ice, according to a new report by NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

This winter's maximum Arctic sea ice extent was 5.85 million square miles (15,150,000 square kilometers)—about 278,000 square miles (720,000 square kilometers) less than the Arctic average between 1979 and 2000.

"That's a loss about the size of the state of Texas," said Walter Meier of the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) in Boulder, Colorado.

And speaking of Texas, isn't that the home state of the guy whose followers still pretend that global warming is a liberal figment?

Apparently there are different types of arctic ice, and older ice is more resilient than younger ice. Guess which is melting faster: older ice.

Ice a year or more old—thicker, hardier, and less prone to melting than younger ice—was at an all-time low at the end of this past winter, the new report says.

Ice older than two years once accounted for some 30 to 40 percent of the Arctic's wintertime cover and made up 25 percent as recently as 2007.

But last year it represented only 14 percent of the maximum. This year the figure fell to 10 percent.

Will the U.S. and the world find the political will to limit or end creation of greenhouse gases in time to prevent future and potentially catastrophic climate change? Call me pessimistic on the answer to that question.

On Facebook? You can keep up with Thomas Jefferson Street blog postings through Facebook's Networked Blogs.