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North Pole Ice On Track To Melt By September?

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 6 years ago | from the new-swimming-holes dept.

Earth 978

phobos13013 writes "Recently released evidence is showing the North Pole ice is melting at the highest rate ever recorded. As a result, the Pole may be completely ice-free at the surface and composed of nothing but open water by September. As reported in September of last year, the Northwest Passage was ice-free for the first time known to man. The implications of this, as well as the causes, are still being debated. Are global warming experts just short-sighted alarmists? Are we heading for a global ice age? Or is the increase in global mean temperature having an effect on our planet?"

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You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Insightful)

AltGrendel (175092) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971927)

The Polar Bears. No place to go any more.

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971987)

But lack of polar bears is good for seals. screw those polar bears and their radical bear agenda!

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Funny)

ahugenerd (1310771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972057)

But lack of seals is good for cod. screw those seals and their radial seal agenda!

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (4, Funny)

jcr (53032) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972437)

But the cod eat plankton. Screw those fish and their radical cod agenda!

-jcr

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972103)

No, it's not. Lack of predation just means there will be a seal overpopulation, leading to further stress on the already overfished oceans ... and seals suffering in trawls, destroying trawls, etc. Not that the seals don't need the ice about as much as the polar bears do.

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (2, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972167)

Well, so much for my well-timed Colbert Report reference...

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (2, Funny)

flyneye (84093) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972185)

hmmm,well,what does seal taste like?
I understand it makes very good coats.
I think we can take care of "too many seals".

         

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972395)

I've never had it, but it probably tastes controversial, like whale. Whale can be pretty yummy (but then again doesn't have to be). Apparently, orcas eat seals, so we can only hope orcas are delicious. It's our only hope.

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (1)

snowraver1 (1052510) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972427)

I wonder how much longer skiing/snowboarding will be a sport. I feel sorry for future generations that may never have the chance to fly down a mountain at mach 3 with a board strapped to thier feet.

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Informative)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972055)

Polar bears don't actually live 'at the pole':

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/24/Polar_bear_range_map.png [wikimedia.org]

They live in areas around which, according to the article, have plenty of ice...

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Funny)

lazyDog86 (1191443) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972143)

They live in areas around which, according to the article, have plenty of ice...

Damn...That must be why my freezer keeps growling at me.

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Funny)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972181)

No, thats the half eaten carton of Ben and Jerry's from 1997, clean out your damn fridge..

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (1)

lilomar (1072448) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972301)

Or is it? [samandfuzzy.com]

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (1)

IdleTime (561841) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972323)

The point is to kill the person BEFORE you put him in the freezer... Geezzz... amateurs!

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972073)

Without these natural predators the population of Arctic researchers could reach dangerous levels.

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972087)

I feel sorry for Coca-cola, they'll have to make new ads instead of using the same ads they've been using for the last decade.

Bearshit! (0, Flamebait)

gd23ka (324741) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972239)

Ursus Maritimus has been through worse. They've had to put up with a lot higher temperatures before. What's more they're
interbreeding with the Ursus Arctos (brown bear) population giving rise to the Grolar or the Prizzly. So does a polar bear
shit into the woods? Soon he will but he wont GIVE a shit.

All that climate alarmist crap. I haven't had access to untampered realtime raw satellite imagery for years so you can
all stick it where the polar bear doesn't get sunshine. I am not going to take your word, it isn't worth a polar bears
turd and as far as I can see out my window this is one hell of a cold summer so piss off.

Re:Bearshit! (1)

general scruff (938598) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972373)

Grolar or the Prizzly

Are they hunted for their magical powers?

Re:You know who I feel sorry for? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972321)

Stop overreacting. With the opening of the Northwest Passage, additional trade routes will open. And you know what that means!

More pirates!

santa? (5, Funny)

Clay Pigeon -TPF-VS- (624050) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971931)

Oh no! What will happen to santa and his elves, and the reindeer? Won't someone think of the reindeer?

Re:santa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23971979)

Think of the children! What will they do for Christmas?!

Re:santa? (5, Funny)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972091)

But Mommy I have been good this year.
Sorry Billy Santa dies from global warming, and it all because you had to go back to the house from school because you forgot your lunch.

Re:santa? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972315)

Dont worry [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Claus]Father Christmas[/url] is living in Finland
They say we have [i]Polar bears[/i] wandering on streets also. Im not sure about that, Im too afraid to leave my computer.

Santa and GOP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972425)

Think of the children! What will they do for Christmas?!

Damn straight! The Republicans need to hear this! Maybe a "Think of the Children" argunt will get then in shape.

Re:santa? (1)

krystar (608153) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972281)

Santa will have to move his business to a new warehouse at the south pole instead. Oh noes!

Re:santa? (2, Funny)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972325)

Santa has used an under(frozen)sea base for at least the last 20 years. It's attached directly to the physical core of the earth with elven chain. Don't worry about Santa, he'll be fine.

A modest proposal... (3, Funny)

cthulu_mt (1124113) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971937)

That we carpet bomb the damn thing just to be safe.

Re:A modest proposal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972187)

I agree completely. Those damn northpolians must be hiding nukes factories under the ice, that explains the temperature rising!

Re:A modest proposal... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972247)

Then we Nuke it from orbit "Just to be safe"....

1421 (1, Insightful)

baldass_newbie (136609) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971961)

Just read a great book about China's 'discovery' of the America around 1421 [1421.tv] and they were able to get their junks around Greenland, a feat not otherwise possible, but it was warm that year.
No idea how many SUVs were on the road back then, so I wonder how we can compare CO2 emissions?

Re:1421 (4, Informative)

tgd (2822) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972063)

That book was powerfully bitch-smacked it was so debunked after it came out.

I wouldn't take any details in it seriously... good book, interesting theory, but most of the evidence was fabricated or misinterpreted.

Re:1421 (5, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972083)

Just read a great book about China's 'discovery' of the America around 1421 and they were able to get their junks around Greenland, a feat not otherwise possible, but it was warm that year.

Just think how much they've progressed, now they can get their junks all the way to Walmart!

Re:1421 (3, Informative)

ahugenerd (1310771) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972125)

Most of the 1421 theory revolves around a map that seems to detail North America in some fashion. However, that map was proven inaccurate as the mapping around the area it was purported to come from was WORSE than the mapping of North American, which makes no cartographic sense. People have better maps of where they come from and worse maps of where they just explored. Makes sense. Until somebody can find more proof to back up the 1421 claim, it is an undecidable as to its veracity.

Re:1421 (5, Informative)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972151)

You do realize that book is widely considered to be poppycock [1421exposed.com] ?

Re:1421 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972403)

I know it's very common in British slang (or is it even slang?), but I have never felt comfortable saying poppycock. Would almost feel like staring somebody in the face and with slight chuckle telling them "That idea is just complete pussydick!". Doesn't matter how much history that word might have behind it elsewhere, it ain't gonna sound right here :).

Re:1421 (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972219)

indeed, no to little human CO2 production back then, but again- the polar crossing, despite what you read in ONE book, most likely did not happen.

not to attack the parent (i do not know their stance), but as an aside, this is the problem i have with global warming deniers. they do not do proper research, and desperately cling to anything, no matter how fancifal or fragile, to support their narrow world view. Don't like the IPCC report, then please offer up a point by point rebuttle!

The 1421 hypothesis is moderately popular among the general public, but has been dismissed by most sinologists and professional historians.[2][3][4][5] Menzies has been criticized for his "reckless manner of dealing with evidence" that led him to propose hypotheses "without a shred of proof".[5] Critics have also questioned the extent of Menzies' nautical knowledge.[6]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1421_hypothesis [wikipedia.org]

Re:1421 (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972309)

There is no evidence that supports that hypothesis.

You picked a great author, btw:

Menzies was born in London, England, though in his book he claims to have been born in China, which he has admitted is false. This has since been rectified in his recent books

This development should make it... (1)

kipin (981566) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971963)

much easier to extract all the oil trapped in the sea floor up there!

Finally (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23971969)

It's about fucking time those damn penguins get what they deserve.

Re:Finally (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972101)

Ballmer, is that you?

Re:Finally (5, Informative)

Vendetta (85883) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972105)

Penguins are southern hemisphere.

Re:Finally (1, Funny)

Arcanis the Rogue (910060) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972209)

Do you hear that?

It's the sound of that joke going way over your head.

Re:Finally (5, Insightful)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972393)

It's the sound of that joke going way over your head.

Your remark interests me cause as a relative new slashdot member, I noticed that one of the main things I love about the threads here is the wonderful intermixing between jokes, facts, irony, wisdom and sarcasm.

Your reasonably funny joke, gave someone else the opportunity to spread a fact he's been sitting on for years. Besides all the funny guys, there are a lot of smart people dwelling here, and I for one welcome the knowledge especially in this intermixed way.

In other words. Take it easy..

Re:Finally (3, Insightful)

Arcanis the Rogue (910060) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972477)

I'm not the original Anonymous Coward, I'm just being an asshat.

Re:Finally (1)

eln (21727) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972253)

Yes, but the polar bears are going to be immigrating to the south pole in droves, and who do you think they'll be feeding on once they get there? There aren't enough scientists down there to keep them sated for long.

Re:Finally (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972173)

Mod parent flamebait, this has nothing to do with Linux or Tux!

Tell us in September (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | more than 6 years ago | (#23971977)

This is not news. This is a prediction that there might be news in September.

If it doesn't happen, will we get an apology for misleading us?

bullshit (-1)

boxlight (928484) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972005)

Yeah - bullshit (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972279)

Yeah, because everybody knows that the person who *really* knows about climate science is a bad fiction writer.

Re:bullshit (5, Insightful)

The Warlock (701535) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972369)

Ah, Chrichton. Because writing Jurassic Park is the only scientific credential that actually matters.

With all due respect, he's got an M.D., he's not a climatologist. I don't call a plumber when I'm sick; I don't ask an M.D.'s opinion on climate change.

From TFA (5, Informative)

FireStormZ (1315639) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972011)

"The melt would be mostly symbolic--thicker ice, pushed against the Canadian continental shelf by weather and Earth's rotation, would still survive the summer."

So when we say the North Pole will melt we are talking about a point not the whole Artic ocean which is what impression one might get from the title.

Re:From TFA (1)

moore.dustin (942289) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972081)

What?! The whole story isn't contained in the sensationalized headline?! What is the world coming to!

Re:From TFA (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972155)

The climate changes we are experiencing will likely take millions of lives. Few people realize how easily diseases like malaria might thrive if we go up even one or two degrees in average temperatures. Florida already has a few cases of malaria every year. The fear that other tropical plagues might become common inside the US mainland is very real.

Re:From TFA (5, Informative)

TrevorB (57780) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972249)

That's correct. The last estimate (2006) for a complete summer Arctic melt was the year 2013.

Before that it was 2038, and before that it was the year 2100...

Re:From TFA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972255)

Actually the entire Arctic is melting, just not by September. The article states that will take another 5 years or so before the Arctic Ocean is ice free, but that isn't very far off either.

Ice Age? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972039)

So the ice is disappearing at record rates and the twat posting this article trolls that we're may be heading for an ice age?

Doesn't anyone read Nature or Science anymore?

Good riddance (1, Funny)

Cannelloni (969195) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972045)

I hate ice and snow anyway - what a bloody mess it is. If you are a masochistic person who actually likes snow I suggest you move to a colder planet such as Mars or Pluto.

Natural? (4, Interesting)

Comtraya (1306593) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972047)

Has anyone thought that this is just the planet recovering from the ice age?

Re:Natural? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972267)

Thank you for being the first person to ever suggest such a theory... PS: Yes people thought that did some research and found out it really was greenhouse gases.

Re:Natural? (5, Insightful)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972319)

Yes. No one credible believes that we are entirely responsible for the climate change, on the other hand no one credible disputes that we are contributing to it. No matter what the cause, the increased global temperature is a bad thing for us and thus it is in our best interest to stop contributing to the change ASAP.

Re:Natural? (5, Insightful)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972329)

You are probably right, man made global warming is just a vast conspiracy engineered to reduce pollution, achieve energy independence, secure our natural resources, and rile up oil executives.

What about that volcano under all that water? (5, Informative)

thule (9041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972065)

Maybe the melting ice could have something to do with this:

AFP Volcanic eruptions reshape Arctic ocean floor: study [yahoo.com]

Arctic Volcanoes Found Active at Unprecedented Depths [nationalgeographic.com]

Some analysis at:

Global Warming - Or Simply Massive Under Sea Volcanoes? [strata-sphere.com]

Re:What about that volcano under all that water? (1)

downix (84795) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972287)

Quite possible, but to write off other things such as the known impact of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is not a wise idea either.

In even the best-case scenario, we're still spitting junk into the air, and my mother always told me to pick up after myself.

Re:What about that volcano under all that water? (2, Insightful)

thule (9041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972447)

Ummm... well volcanoes put a lot of junk into the air all by themselves. That includes underwater ones.

Besides, we don't know for sure that CO2 is the main reason for the warming we've seen. The warming trend has been levelling off for the past few years. It also doesn't explain why there is uneven warming or why Antarctic ice continues to grow.

Re:What about that volcano under all that water? (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972339)

But that wouldn't explain why glaciers on land are retreating, would it?

Re:What about that volcano under all that water? (1)

thule (9041) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972409)

Look at the graphs from the last link. Some pretty amazing coincidences.

Volcanoes also put gases into the air.

I am soooo happy this poles are melting!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972071)

Yess!!! More profits for my offshore drilling!! Screw humanity!! praise the (dollar,euro, etc)!!!

Signed,
Big Oil

Time to Grow Up (3, Funny)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972099)

It's almost like mother nature is giving humanity some 'gentle' urging to move-out and get our own place.

Pretty soon, however, if we don't get our ass in gear I have a feeling we might find all our stuff thrown out on the front lawn...if you follow the analogy.

Re:Time to Grow Up (5, Funny)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972471)

Almost.

But not quite.

Don't anthropomorphise Mother Nature. She hates it when you do that.

Whitewash. (4, Funny)

I(rispee_I(reme (310391) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972131)

It is comical to me that in the past decade, I've seen the headlines purchased by oil company spin doctors go from:

Global Warming: Fact or Fiction?

to

Global Warming: Are We Causing It?

to

Global Warming: What Can We Do About It?

to

Antarctica: The New Hawaii

The elusive step 2 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972269)

Antarctica: The New Hawaii

  1. Raise global warming fears
  2. Sell land in Antarctica
  3. Profit!

What about Santa (0, Redundant)

sircastor (1051070) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972133)

We need to get Congress on the phone... We need legislation to protect Santa Claus. What will we do when kids learn there's no ice at the pole for the old elf to live in?

Why no rising sea level (3, Interesting)

tomtomtom777 (1148633) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972141)

What surprises me is that there has not been any significant change in sea level [grida.no] even though the sea level rose about 130m [wikipedia.org] since the last ice age.

I thought flooding was one of the major dangers of global warning. Where did the ice go?

Re:Why no rising sea level (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972291)

Arctic ice is floating, and thus already displacing water. It's the Antarctic and Greenland ice melting that would be a concern, since they rest on land.

Re:Why no rising sea level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972375)

Also, the water level can be raised a lot by the expansion of liquid water (20 degree water takes more space than 15 degree water).

Re:Why no rising sea level (1)

Magycian (121354) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972353)

Since there is no land at the north pole the ice was already in the water.

When you fill your glass at home with ice and whiskey and the ice starts to melt does the level of fluid in the glass increase?

Re:Why no rising sea level (2, Informative)

rk (6314) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972361)

Ice already in water is displacing a little over 90% of the volume it would displace once it melted, so that ice melting doesn't have much impact on sea levels. It's the ice bound up sitting on top of landmasses melting that will be the real problem for sea level changes.

Re:Why no rising sea level (1)

inKubus (199753) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972377)

Well, unfortunately there's this thing called "sublimation", which means that moisture is in the atmosphere now. The atmosphere is so large it can hold a bunch of water. There is a tipping point that happens at 100% relative humidity, of course, in which case the atmosphere is basically clouds (like Jupiter) and it's constantly condensing so the sea level rises.

Re:Why no rising sea level (1)

amRadioHed (463061) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972381)

The north pole ice is floating, therefore it doesn't impact the sea level when it melts.

Re:Why no rising sea level (2, Informative)

Gat0r30y (957941) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972405)

Ever notice how when you have ice in a cup of water, the level doesn't rise when the ice melts? Only the ice sheets in Antarctica (which is on the south side) which sit on top of land will cause sea levels to rise. And unfortunately they are melting at an alarming rate [nasa.gov]

Re:Why no rising sea level (1)

Znork (31774) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972469)

It's the north pole. It was already in the ocean, floating as it were. Floating ice melting doesn't cause changes in sea level; archimedes, density, modulo some frozen fishes, salt and stuff.

South pole is worse, sea level wise.

Why is this even being debated? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972145)

Are global warming experts just short-sighted alarmists? Are we heading for a global ice age? Or is the increase in global mean temperature having an effect on our planet?

Anyone who believes this isn't a man-made disaster has their speaking privileges taken away. Put on your dunce caps, go sit in the corner and shut the f&*k up.

Re:Why is this even being debated? (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Brave Guy (457657) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972457)

Anyone who believes this isn't a man-made disaster has their speaking privileges taken away. Put on your dunce caps, go sit in the corner and shut the f&*k up.

Yes, absolutely. Instead of believing the propaganda from Big Oil that nothing is wrong, we should instead believe in the propaganda from political interests attempting to divert our attention from other matters and scientific communities whose funding is dependent on the support of those political interests that our doom is upon us and we must stop doing anything.

In no way will this turn out to be the same as most issues in popular science, where there is an underlying trend that we should consider changing, but whose likely effects will not be fully understood without much more research and in any case will occur subtly over a period of many years.

Cycles (0, Troll)

courteaudotbiz (1191083) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972177)

There are cycles on our planet, and that's a fact. We can count at least 4 cycles of global glaciation [wikipedia.org] that we know of. But at a scale a lot greater than the human one, our sun is growing fast. A couple hundredths of a percent every decade. So our faith is there. As the sun will grow larger and larger, our planet is going to heat more and more, and there's absolutely nothing we can do about it.

In the course of our tiny human life, we will never see the planet completely ice-free, nor will we ever witness Nenets Beach [wikipedia.org] . But it's a fact we can see a slight difference, and it's a fact that WE make a slight difference on climate change. But our destiny is that of our Sun [wikipedia.org]

Re:Cycles (1, Redundant)

d34thm0nk3y (653414) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972467)

our sun is growing fast. A couple hundredths of a percent every decade.

[Citation Needed]

Post screws it up (1)

Myrkridian42 (840659) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972201)

TRA is about the North Pole melting. The link provided in the post about the implications [cnn.com] is actually about the South Pole.

Logical Thinking (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972213)

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.


Yeah, that sounds like logical thinking. Isn't the use of fossil fuels one of the leading arguments for the reason the polar caps are melting?

Funny how they always neglect the South Pole... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972241)

Let me just say it now before someone else does...

Bush, BUSH, BUSH, Cheney, Halliburton, Cheney, Halliburton, No blood for oil, Bush, bush, Cheney, Halliburton...bush lied ppl died....

Moooooooooooon BaaaaT

Probably Not (3, Informative)

MrMunkey (1039894) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972273)

According to this article [nytimes.com] the information was really extended beyond what the reporter had received from the scientist.

In fact, the Independent's story -- the opening sentences and headline at least -- go way beyond what Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center tells the reporter.

It was also suggested that the ice may have been flushed out due to the movement of water rather than melting so much. This flow of water might be caused by greenhouse gasses though.

Is this being caused by . . . (1, Insightful)

mmell (832646) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972277)

CO2 emissions from human activities (pollution)? Or . . .

Changes in solar energy output (the "ringing" of the Sun)? Or . . .

Naturally occuring changes in the planetary atmosphere (as has happened before on this planet)? Or . . .

Naturally occuring changes in the planetary hydrosphere (as has also happened before on this planet)? Or . . .

Al Gore's incessant whining about greenhouse gasses (now there's a bunch of hot air!)? Or . . .

But you get the point - when we at least have an educated guess as to the 'why' (and if that 'why' comes back to human activity on the planet), then I'll consider this more than an interesting possibility.

Cryosphere Chart (5, Informative)

ViperOrel (1286864) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972283)

This is where I look to keep track of what's happening with the north pole:

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/ [uiuc.edu]

Best graph is :
http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/current.365.jpg [uiuc.edu]

My friends refer to it a climate-porn...

Can't say I strongly disagree since it has the feel of watching a loooong slow train wreck...

Point Brrow beachfront property (1)

peter303 (12292) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972289)

Maybe that Point Barrow beachfront track that Florida sales guy sold me some time back isn't that bad of a deal after all!

Nature's solution to high gas prices (1)

ruiner13 (527499) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972357)

This is just Mother Nature helping the shipping companies with the high price of gas. Opening the NW Passage saves having to go around that whole South America thing or go through the Panama Canal. See, it is all part of W's plan for stimulating the economy!

Too early to tell? (0, Troll)

Duncan Blackthorne (1095849) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972365)

Aren't there valid arguments that say that this is just a cyclic phenomenon linked to solar activity?

Great News! (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#23972411)

This is great news for international shipping.
Just when fuel prices are skyrocketing, global commerce gets a 50% break on shipping distances.

Watch the ice melt (2, Interesting)

QuietLagoon (813062) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972419)

On the North Pole web cam [noaa.gov] .

Cyclic? (5, Interesting)

ATestR (1060586) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972463)

Mod me down if you will, but I heard one report that ice levels right now are higher than at the same time last year.

The NW Passage [wikipedia.org] has been open in the recent past from (1905 [wikipedia.org] - 1948 [hnsa.org] ). Accurate measurement of the "melting" began in 1979, probably about the time ice coverage peaked. [newsbusters.org] As a cursory search will show, it has also been open in the more distant past as well.

The freeze/thaw of the arctic is clearly cyclic. Whether it is clear evidence of global warming or not is a question to be considered. Man's impact on this warming, if the warming is actually happening, is another question altogether.

This was all expected... (3, Funny)

sjs132 (631745) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972473)

After the ice melts, the poles flip. Eventually we'll be in the next iceage... It has nothing to due with my SUV or your solar panels, it is the nature of the cycle of destruction. After the mass extinction, the strong will survive and slowly rebuild. Our Children and generations more will forget what came before. They will worship our relics and call God by his new name: ComPewTur

Am I kidding? Maybe, Maybe not...

Rooting for the melting (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 6 years ago | (#23972483)

I hope it all melts so we can see if Al Gore's doomsday prediction of Manhattan being 10 feet under water holds true or not. We need more "sky falling" incidents to show the "sky is falling" crowd that it isn't always as bad as they think (cough, hope).
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