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View Full Version : The Northwest Passage is Open, and That's Not a Good Thing



Fraser
2007-Sep-18, 05:16 PM
Here in Vancouver, we have a maritime museum with the first ship to completely circumnavigate North America, and the second vessel to complete a voyage through the Northwest Passage. ...

Read the full blog entry (http://www.universetoday.com/2007/09/18/the-northwest-passage-is-open-and-thats-not-a-good-thing/)

parallaxicality
2007-Sep-18, 08:11 PM
the whole economic exploitation of the melting icecaps is a bit cynical. This colonial, 19th century land grab is not edifying, especially considering that what most people are thinking is OIL!, and it was oil that melted the ice caps in the first place.

GOURDHEAD
2007-Sep-19, 02:17 AM
and it was oil that melted the ice caps in the first place.
How can you be sure? The ice caps have melted before coal, gas, and oil were being used by humans.

JustAFriend
2007-Sep-19, 03:35 AM
We've only had sat cams for 40 years, so I'm going to take the "first time EVER" with a HUGE grain of salt....

Astrowannabe
2007-Sep-19, 07:33 AM
We've only had sat cams for 40 years, so I'm going to take the "first time EVER" with a HUGE grain of salt....

I think they mean "first time in recent history", so yeah, they don't actually mean the first time EVER. I'm sure that at some point in the last few tens of millions of years the polar ice caps have melted. What they are talking about is the first time in modern history.

FYI, we've been able to monitor the artic ice long before we've had satellites. The satellites just make it easier.

Kullat Nunu
2007-Sep-19, 08:15 AM
Well, it is certain that in the 20th century the amount of ice was never this low.

Sure, we're living in an ice house climate, which are not that common in Earth's history. Our planet has often been totally ice free. That doesn't tell anything about how humans and biosphere in general can cope abrupt changes caused by anthropogenic climate change.

TheInformer
2007-Sep-19, 12:42 PM
The mantra "the ice is shrinking at the North Pole" is repeated ad naseum. What about the increase of ice at the South Pole? Why isn't this reported as much?

OneHotJupiter
2007-Sep-19, 01:42 PM
What increase of Ice at the south pole?
HUGE sections of Arctic ice are melting and breaking off in record numbers down there as well , where can I read about this 'Increase' of southern Ice?

parallaxicality
2007-Sep-19, 02:02 PM
Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf is about the size of Rhode Island.

Here it is on January 31, 2002:

http://nsidc.org/iceshelves/larsenb2002/013102_modis.html

And here it is 33 days later:

http://nsidc.org/iceshelves/larsenb2002/030502_modis.html

Prior to this, scientists estimate that the shelf had remained stable for 12,000 years. (http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-08/qu-isd080305.php)

Jerry
2007-Sep-19, 02:04 PM
There are areas near the south pole where the ice levels are increasing annually, this was widely heralded on the Rush Limbaugh circuit; and it wasn't until last year that there was conclusive evidence both poles are melting and melting fast.

http://reference.aol.com/article/_a/north-pole-meets-south-pole-earth-is/20060302121809990001

Aside from a few hundred species extinctions, the opening of the northwest passage could be a minor plus...and give coast seekers a breather away from the hurricane belt. There have been 8 category five storms in the last five years - a wildly anomalous number for the north atlantic, but entirely consistent with the warmer ocean surface temperatures. What will the storms be like when the temperizing effects of these huge ice melts are gone?

parallaxicality
2007-Sep-19, 02:09 PM
Oh it'll be a blast. Think of all the stinking oil port boomtowns mushrooming out of the snow. All that tar sands oil gotta go somewhere.

Kullat Nunu
2007-Sep-20, 12:45 AM
Even if the eastern Antarctic ice was increasing, it wouldn't discredit global warming in any way--increased precipitation should increase the growth of glaciers. Apparently that isn't happening. Glaciers in the West Antarctica, especially in the Antarctic Peninsula, are disappearing fast.