We knew that El Nino would release some of the ocean’s stored heat, but the consequences are stronger than expected. There are justifiable fears that we’ve lurched up to a new normal that’s warmer, stormier, wetter, dryer, and more acidic. Our continuing war on wildlife and Earth ecosystems just took a giant step forward.
It didn’t take long for Arctic sea ice to start to respond to a fossil-fuel based accumulation of hothouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere. For since the 1920s, that region of ocean ice along the northern polar zone has been in a steady, and increasingly rapid, retreat. Rachel Carson wrote about the start of the Northern Hemisphere ocean ice decline in her ground-breaking 1955 book — The Edge of the Sea.
But it wasn’t until the late 1970s that consistent satellite observations began to provide an unbroken record telling the tale of Arctic sea ice decline. The National Snow and Ice Data Center, The Polar Science Center (PIOMAS), Japan’s JAXA, The Danish Meteorological Institute, and others have since that time provided a loyal recording of the stark impact human-forced warming has had on this sensitive and critical region.
(Severe sea ice volume losses since 1979…
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