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No Arctic sea ice this year?

Oh, good:

Seasoned polar scientists believe the chances of a totally ice-free North Pole this summer are greater than 50:50 because the normally thick ice formed over many years at the Pole has been blown away and replaced by huge swathes of thinner ice formed over a single year.

This one-year ice is highly vulnerable to melting during the summer months and satellite data coming in over recent weeks shows that the rate of melting is faster than last year, when there was an all-time record loss of summer sea ice at the Arctic.

"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice – ice that formed last autumn and winter. I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out," said Dr Serreze.

If it happens, it raises the prospect of the Arctic nations being able to exploit the valuable oil and mineral deposits below these a bed which have until now been impossible to extract because of the thick sea ice above.

Stupid Republicans.

Invading Iraq when Canada's so much closer.

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Submitted by jawbone on

but do have needs for energy in this society. Even the low carbon footprint of New Yorkers is dependent on energy being used for elevators, transport, etc.

What will an Obama administration do?

Speaker on WNYC, NYC's public radio station, said that if suitable rooftops in NYC had solar collectors, at today's efficiency levels, they would supply twice the electricity used by the the entire city. So, it would add an entire NYC's amount of electrical usage into the grid.

That would be awesome. And in every city? Wow.

Of course, I've been hearing about how it would be good to do such a thing, but no mention of how it will be affordable by any but businesses and the wealthy.

I think we need an Energy Stamps program, on the order of Food Stamps, to help the poor, those on fixed incomes, the lower middle class achieve some energy cost relief, in the short term. In the long term, we need a nationwide program to have solar collectors provided to be placed on one's property (or other types of energy collection/production). The property owner would not get all the benefits of the collected energy, but would share in a reduced cost, cleaner electricity production program.

That would take leadership. Where will that come from? Will the U of Chicago types go along with something which is primarily for the social good?

Right now in Germany, as reported on NPR (iirc, perhaps PBS), the government is subsidizing the private purchase of alternative energy devices--and the owners of property where these can be utilized can spend very little on energy costs or even make money. But for those living with a small footprint in cities in apartment buildings or in shady areas, there is no benefit. That strikes me as unfair and unwise. It should be a collective effort, with shared benefits. After all, any improvement in reducing global warming will be a shared benefit.

And the reverse is also true. With some suffering far, far more than others....

What will Obama do?

Mandos's picture
Submitted by Mandos on

Are not that expensive anymore, actually. But I suspect that at the volumes you'd need to cover NYC...

BoGardiner's picture
Submitted by BoGardiner on

It's not all the Arctic with a 50:50 chance of being icefree this year, just the point at the North Pole. The scientists are using this to symbolize the future melting out of the entire Arctic, which they do expect in some future year.

The CNN coverage is a little clearer. The quoted scientist, Mark Serreze, said, "...I think at this point going to an ice-free Arctic Ocean is inevitable..."

It's VERY interesting to me that Serreze says Arctic ice would "recover fairly quickly" by reducing greenhouse emissions, but follows with the political probability that reductions are "just not going to happen for a while."

I'm surprised. I'd absorbed the false learned helplessness that recovery would be very slow. Who would have thought our planet could dance so lightly on its feet? We were so used to thinking of it in terms of geologic age. We're in need of a meme change here.

Truth Partisan's picture
Submitted by Truth Partisan on

"suitable" rooftops in the City? Well not in my rooftop garden, my dear, we might need that for cocktails any night in the summer.
We'll just get Anarctic sea ice this year. It looked so glacial on the cruise last year.

amberglow's picture
Submitted by amberglow on

even on fire escapes.

They're making a big deal now out of all the new "green buildings" but they're really not green.

We should have solar panels instead of tarpaper on every single roof, paid for and installed by Con Ed.

Submitted by jawbone on

planned for this country. And education will do it all! Or longer. Wow.

In the meantime, Sen. Obama????

If there isn't some kind of short term amelioration of the pain coming to the least wealthy in this country, we can look forward to weather related deaths in summer and winter, as those with little money chose between heat and food, medicine and electricity.

Re: falling cost of solar panels? When I inquired last year, there was no way I could afford to get into the game. And info was not easy to find.

Terrific things can be done to cut carbon emissions--for those with the wherewithal to make the initial investments. Which is why a program which gets the investment made at the federal level more feasible.