Sea ice

Arctic ice, both sea and land, has been in the news quite a lot lately and I expect we’ll hear more about it once the world’s leading ice scientists present at AGU in a few weeks. however, in the last few days I’ve come across two really interesting things.

The first was a seminar from the American Meteorological Society featuring research talks from Scott Luthcke, Mark Serreze, and Konrad Steffen. The streaming video is currently available here, but I don’t know how long that will be online. The main page for the seminar is here. Links to the slides from each speaker are here and that’s a cool resource to have. The bottom line is that the rates of melt (loss of area and thickness) on sea and land are blowing everybody away – and these scientists are talking increasingly about tipping points in the arctic in terms of ice melt. Big stuff for sure.

The other thing that caught my attention was a broadcast of the BBC program One Planet on the Northwest Passage. Here is the show description (they don’t archive the show descriptions for some inane reason):

The North West Passage is a sea-route with almost mythical status, twisting through the ice of the Arctic north of Canada. Hundreds of explorers in past centuries searched for this route linking the Atlantic and the Pacific. But they perished in the ice and cold. This summer, the North West Passage was free of ice for the first time. This warming brings great opportunities but also dangers. The BBC’s environment correspondent, David Shukman, joins a Canadian coastguard ship to travel the North West Passage and report on the remarkable changes of recent years.

Here Here is a link to the audio file. The thing that caught my attention here was the level of detail paid to the geopolitical aspects of melt in the Arctic. Just how much usable hydrocarbon is down there?

I’m really looking forward to hearing the latest on ice melt at the AGU meeting.

One Response to “Sea ice”

  1. January 26, 2008 at 7:08 pm, Brendan Fraser said:

    Hello webmaster…Man i just love your blog, keep the cool posts comin..holy Saturday