Tuesday, May 01, 2007

It's Melting, Melting, Melting...

One prediction made about two months ago by the very cautious and conservative Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report was that Arctic ice would be melted by 2050. Seems now that the two-month-old report was too cautious and conservative, as the latest data show the Arctic ice to be melted 30 years sooner -- by year 2020.

Now all that melting ice won't cause the oceans to rise since melting ice cubes floating in a glass of water don't raise or lower the water level in the glass. So at least the ocean levels won't rise directly as a result of melting Arctic ice.

But since open bodies of water absorb much more solar heat than do ice sheets, this means that the soon-to-be-melted Arctic Ocean will be helping the greenhouse-gassed Earth to warm faster than otherwise. This added warmth will help the ice sheets over Greenland and Antarctica to melt much faster than predicted. And that melting WILL raise ocean levels. A lot!

Here's a link to an article in Reuters on May 1 about it all.


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