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Arctic Ice the Size (and shape) of Florida Gone in a Week

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Arctic Ice Continues Record Melting

Scientists report that arctic ice the size (and shape) of the state of Florida has melted in the last week.

arctic_ice_florida_070910_ms.jpg

Arctic Ice the size (and shape) of Florida gone in a week

By CLAYTON SANDELL

An area of Arctic sea ice the size of Florida has melted away in just the last six days as melting at the top of the planet continues at a record rate.

2007 has already broken the record for the lowest amount of sea ice ever recorded, say scientists, smashing the old record set in 2005.

Currently, there are about 1.63 million square miles of Arctic ice, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. That is well below the record of 2.05 million square miles set two summers ago and could drop even lower before the final numbers are in.

North Pole’s Ice Disappears

From September 3 to September 9, researchers say 69,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappeared, roughly the size of the Sunshine State.

Scientists say the rate of melting in 2007 has been unprecedented, and veteran ice researchers worry the Arctic is on track to be completely ice-free much earlier than previous research and climate models have suggested.

“If you had asked me a few years ago about how fast the Arctic would be ice free in summer, I would have said somewhere between about 2070 and the turn of the century,” said scientist Mark Serreze, polar ice expert at the NSIDC. “My view has changed. I think that an ice-free Arctic as early as 2030 is not unreasonable.”

Sea ice melt will likely reach the absolute minimum in the next few days as temperatures at the North Pole cool and refreezing begins.

Worldwide Climate Implications

Melting sea ice, unlike land-based glaciers like the ones in Greenland and elsewhere, does not raise sea level. But it does play a major role in regulating the planet’s climate by affecting air and ocean currents.

“It will shift some of the weather patterns in ways that we are just beginning to understand,” said Robert Correll, a scientist who chairs the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment and is also the climate change director at the Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment in Washington, D.C.

Correll said that white sea ice also acts as a mirror at the top of the planet, reflecting much of the sun’s energy back into space. As it melts, it reveals darker water that absorbs more energy from the sun — further warming the ocean in a process scientists call a “feedback.”

“If there is no ice, the ocean is going to continue to heat, and that is going to accelerate the global warming process,” said Correll.

In coastal villages throughout the Arctic, less sea ice also means less protection from wind and waves that erode the shoreline. It also means less habitat for animals like polar bears and other marine animals.

Last week, the United States Geological Survey issued a report that found if the ice continued to decline at the current rate, two-thirds of the world’s polar bear population will disappear by 2050.

“Our results do give me some concern,” said Steve Armstrup, a Polar Bear Project Leader with the USGS. “In Northern Alaska, where I’ve been working for these years, there may not be polar bears. So as Polar bears go, that probably reflects to a great extent a lot of things that are happening to other organisms in the Arctic system.”

Northwest Passage Opening

The melting ice continues to open up the fabled Northwest Passage, long-sought by explorers and shipping companies as a short cut between Europe and East Asia.

Historically, that debate has been largely theoretical because the passage has been frozen and impassable. But in August, satellite images showed the passage has now become more navigable than ever, fueling a hot debate between the United States and Canada over who should control it.

At a summit last month in Montebello, Canada, the leaders of the two nations expressed their disagreement.

“Canada’s position is that we intend to strengthen our sovereignty in the Arctic area, not only military, but economic, social, environmental and others,” said Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

“We believe it’s an international passageway,” President Bush countered a moment later.

The latest satellite image shows a clear, wide path running through the Arctic that has major implications for global commerce.

For example, ships that must currently go around South America’s Cape Horn because they are too big to traverse the Panama Canal could save about 10,000 miles out of their shipping route.

The passage also saves about 5,000 miles when shipping between Europe and Asia.

Canada, the United States and Denmark are also competing for resources as melting Arctic ice reveals potential deposits of oil and gas.

A mini-submarine placed a Russian flag at the North Pole last month in a symbolic claim to that country’s share of Arctic resources.

Environmental groups worry that increased traffic through the Arctic could put the natural resources in jeopardy if there is an oil spill or other disaster in the remote region.

September 10, 2007 - Posted by | Current Events, Environment

36 Comments »

  1. WTF?

    Comment by Attila | February 10, 2008 | Reply

  2. That is SO FAKE! You can see the lines around the “missing ice.”

    Comment by Joe | March 1, 2008 | Reply

  3. looks artificial
    u can see the illusion

    Comment by Starr | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  4. looks cool but they didn’t exicute it well. sorry😦

    Comment by me, myself, and I | March 4, 2008 | Reply

  5. hahahhahahahhah nice

    Comment by kelsey | March 17, 2008 | Reply

  6. wow.

    Comment by anomymous | March 25, 2008 | Reply

  7. lmao that looks so fake but it looks so cool! :-]

    Comment by bob nolen | March 26, 2008 | Reply

  8. who is bob nolen and that is so fake!

    Comment by me and ur mom!! mwahh | March 26, 2008 | Reply

  9. that is so ****ing fake but nice try

    Comment by Alex | March 27, 2008 | Reply

  10. i with alex what the hell are they tring to pull🙂

    Comment by john 117 (masterchief) | March 27, 2008 | Reply

  11. THat is soo fake but the ice melting is rather sad

    Comment by Not telling you | March 31, 2008 | Reply

  12. We all know that its a fake pic. The Point is that, The amount of ice that melts in the arctic in a week is the size of Florida.

    Comment by Michael | April 4, 2008 | Reply

  13. so so fake, bob nolen is bad

    Comment by mitchell jingbob | April 14, 2008 | Reply

  14. It’s an illustration! Of course it’s fake you idiots! They’re not saying that ice in the SHAPE of Florida just melted!

    Comment by MEGACLOPS | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  15. wowww thats bull shit that looks like you photo shopped in the shape of texas tthat shit doesnt look real homo

    Comment by chuck | April 16, 2008 | Reply

  16. Uhh I don’t think its ment to be seen as real. They are just saying that it melted and the photo is to depict it.

    Comment by Xena | April 28, 2008 | Reply

  17. THATS NOT REAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THATS TOTALLY FAKE, ANY ONE CAN SEE THAT!

    Comment by hannah | May 7, 2008 | Reply

  18. THATS COOL BUT NOT REAL

    Comment by JUGGALO | May 15, 2008 | Reply

  19. you guys are MORONS!!!!! fucking idiots, therye trying to make it EASIER for you guys to see and understand the amount of ice that has been lost!! OF COURSE ITS GONNA BE FUCKING FAKE!!!!!!
    god fucking incompetent following babbling idiots.

    Comment by micle | May 16, 2008 | Reply

    • LOL I was thinking the same thing and when I saw u comment I was like damn atleast a normal person!

      Comment by Nick | February 1, 2011 | Reply

  20. Yeaahhh, micle, because your comment sounds so intelligent. Add a few more “f**king”s and maybe you’ll make your point.

    Wow that’s a lot of ice melting each week! And the polar bears must’ve been hard at working carving it to look just like Florida!😉

    Comment by Keito | June 26, 2008 | Reply

  21. i really do not believe that it i so stupid don’t u agree wit me comment!!!!!

    Comment by alyssa | October 10, 2008 | Reply

  22. ITS TRUE LOOK AT LINES AROUND IT

    Comment by HIGHD | November 5, 2008 | Reply

  23. “wow”. you stink you son of a beep

    Comment by wazup | December 11, 2008 | Reply

  24. you beep you suck beep!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    WTF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by wazup | December 11, 2008 | Reply

  25. IM SEXY

    Comment by I DID YOUR MOM | December 11, 2008 | Reply

  26. its ment to be fake. its called a joke.

    Comment by asdewdwq | March 30, 2009 | Reply

  27. hello good moning!

    Comment by elvis | February 11, 2010 | Reply

  28. Holy shit. If you came here and thought they were actually intending to fool you with that picture, you can rest assured that your IQ is on the low side.

    Comment by Donald | March 12, 2010 | Reply

  29. Actually it is fake!

    Comment by UK photographs | May 14, 2010 | Reply

  30. That’s what you call photoshop…. .You can see the white emboss line clearly. You people need to find something better to do.

    Comment by kristin | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  31. That’s what you call photoshop.

    Comment by kristin | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  32. That’s what you call photoshop

    Comment by kristin | June 5, 2010 | Reply

  33. Okay… Some people on here are leaving comments that say things such as… it’s intentionally fake and the picture is only a metaphor. This is what they SHOULD have done. However, this is not the case. This page says “Arctic Ice the size (and shape) of Florida gone in a week” in three separate places. It distinctly says AND SHAPE. This is what is fake, and obviously a lie, and this causes the rest of the article to seem fake as well.

    Comment by Thomas | October 9, 2010 | Reply

  34. No shit it’s not real, they’re saying the amount of ice that melts in the arctic in a week is the size of Florida you fucking idiots! Maybe if you read it correctly you would understand what they meant. Haha! I laugh so hard when I see this because you’re all idiots for saying that it’s fake, of course it is! LMFAO!

    Comment by Shawn | January 23, 2011 | Reply

  35. Howdy! This article couldn’t be written any better! Going
    through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept
    preaching about this. I most certainly will send this information to him.

    Fairly certain he’ll have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!

    Comment by miracle smoke cbd e-liquid | November 26, 2015 | Reply


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