10/8/10

Will Arctic thaw progress?

Arctic. © Flickr.com/lechampiondumonde.com/cc-by-nc

The Voice of Rusia

A record reduction in the area of glaciers in the Arctic Region as a result of the anomalous heat is expected to become clearly visible by the beginning of next month, the Rosgidromet specialists say. Their forecast is based on the fact that the historical thawing speed record was set last month.
The experts with the National Snow and Ice Data Centre in the USA have a similar opinion. They  say that the ice area in the Arctic Region has proved the smallest in the history of satellite observations because the Arctic region was losing 88,000  square  kilometers  of ice area  each day, which exceeds the historical average rate by 1.5 times. True, this month the speed of thawing has dropped somewhat.           
A similar situation was registered in 2007, the Head of the Ice Regime Laboratory at the Arctic and Antarctic Scientific-Research Institute Alexander Yulin says:   
"As observations showed, the smallest ice area, 4.4 million square kilometers in length, was registered in August of 2007. But of interest here is the fact that since 2008 the ice area has been increasing gradually but steadily. There’s a lot of ice in the Laptev Sea and in the East Siberian Sea. Meaning one-year-old thick glaciers. True, the number of glaciers in the Sea of Chukotsk and in the Kara Sea has quickly decreased. The thinnest glaciers have thawed in the two Arctic seas."    
Of course, the thawing of glaciers in the Arctic Region affects the condition of the World Ocean. Among the negative consequences specialists mention a quick rise of the water level. This may trigger the flooding of the coastal areas and islands, destroy many eco-systems and lead to the extinction of many species of animals and fishes. And still, for the time being, there’re no grounds for catastrophic scenarios concerning the so-called global warming, Alexander Yulin says:   
"If we take a one-century-long period, we’re now at the very peak of warming, which has caused a whole series of warm years. In the coming decade a period of relative cool is highly probable."    
We should not forget that human activity has a lot to do with the current climate change. If we don’t take care of the Earth, a catastrophic scenario, presented by the supporters of the global warming, becomes a possibility. They say that by the middle of this century the polar hat will thaw completely in summer.
“However, our forecast is more moderate: a cold snap will come in the 30s, and the Arctic ice will not go anywhere. And as regards the current record heat, which is registered on the greater part of Europe, it neither offers proof of nor disproves the theory of global warming,” Alexander Yulin says.
To confirm or disprove this hypothesis, you should observe the weather change within 30 years. We’re keeping track of the ice situation because ice is a good indicator of climate change,” the Russian scientist stressed.

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