Well, the scientists have been predicting it for a good few weeks now. The Arctic ice has finally reached its lowest extent since satellite records began in 1979. And it could still decrease further as changing winds push ice floes together, according to the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre ISIDC. The final figures will only come in October, but the long-term downward trend in Arctic ice extent is reinforced, according to NSIDC. The ice is now 45% less than it once was.
DateSeptember 20, 2012 | 9:00 am
The Cold Edge – Visualizing polar climate impacts
On board the Greenpeace boat Esperanza at Svalbard for a story on scientists monitoring ocean acidification in 2010, I met Dave Walsh from Ireland, who was on board as Greenpeace press officer. Since then I have discovered his work as a photographer in his own right. These photos are art and appeals for environmental and climate action at the same time. Ice blog followers will enjoy his polar photos, spectacular and somehow moving. “While the frozen regions of our planet have the power to ignite imaginations, for most of the seven billion people on Earth, the Arctic and Antarctic remain abstract and unreachable”, says Dave. “ I’ve been lucky enough to voyage north and south by ship, to experience the serenity of the oceans and polar regions – and realise how finite ourplanet is.”
“The Cold Edge” exhibition of Dave’s pictures opens at The Copper House Gallery in Dublin this evening. I wish I could be there. In the meantime, those of us who can’t be there in person can share some inspiration and (aesthetic) food for thought online. The British newspaper the Guardian also features the pictures.
DateSeptember 13, 2012 | 8:52 am
Climate sceptics lose court case in New Zealand
Now here’s an interesting little snippet for a Friday afternoon. I was interested to read that New Zealand’s High Court has ruled against climate sceptics who took a government agency to court because it said the temperature had risen in the past century. The National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) had concluded that the country’s climate had warmed almost one degree Celsius between 1909 and 2009. A private group called the “New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust” took the agency to court, saying NIWA’s methodology was flawed and the findings not peer reviewed. But the judge disagreed, saying the institute had used internationally recognised and credible scientific methodology. A group of climate change scientists from New Zealand universities welcomed the court verdict and described it as “bizarre” that a small group of scientists should go to court to question the basic science of climate change which, they, say, has been established for well over a century. “Almost all scientists active in climate research agree that human activity is causing the climate to change”. New Zealand’s glaciers have been retreating over the last century. The scientists also cite rising sea levels and the clear reduction of the Arctic sea ice.
“This misguided action of a small group adds confusion to a simple issue — the world is warming and future generations of New Zealanders will have to deal with the consequences,” the scientists’ statement said. – And they won’t be the only ones, adds the ice blogger up here in the northern hemisphere, working on a story on climate change and the North Sea and the ongoing mega-melt of the Arctic sea ice.
DateSeptember 7, 2012 | 2:16 pm
What are these gannets doing on the ice blog? Well, it seems they migrated to Germany because of climate change. Read below to understand the connection. (No wisdom without pain…)
Did you know there has just been another round of UN climate talks in Bangkok? I don’t blame you if you didn’t. It’s hard to keep track of the “talks between the talks…” It’s also hard to keep up interest and optimism and not give way to resignation, given the disastrous melting of the Arctic ice and all the other clearly visible impacts of climate change.
DateSeptember 5, 2012 | 3:02 pm
Well, it has finally happened as feared. The National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado has confirmed the summer sea ice in the Arctic has melted even further than in the record year 2007 – and it’s not at its annual summer minimum yet. It’s likely to melt more in the next three weeks. Must be a very frustrating feeling for the Greenpeace activists who have been hovering around the Russian Arctic drilling platform Prirazlomnaya, belonging to Gazprom, for the last five days.
DateAugust 29, 2012 | 9:30 am