NASA CALLS ARTIC MELTING ALARMING

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NASA CALLS ARTIC MELTING ALARMING

 user 2006-09-15 at 12:28:00 pm Views: 43
  • #16457

    NASA Calls Arctic Melting ‘Alarming’
    (Sept.
    06) — Icebreakers crunching their way through the Arctic ice pack at
    the top of the world are finding more open water than ever, CBS News
    correspondent Jerry Bowen reports.NASA scientists say it’s all because
    of what they call an “alarming” rapid melting of winter sea ice — the
    usually permanent ice cover over the Arctic Ocean. In just the past two
    years, it has shrunk by 14 percent. The loss has been just at the
    edges, but it’s still a Texas-sized loss that researchers say is linked
    to man-made global warming.”Sea ice melt is actually a consequence of
    that warming. The fact that you have a longer melt period is also a
    consequence of greenhouse warming,” says Josefino Comiso, a NASA
    scientist.Scientists are studying ice thickness and water temperatures
    in the very heart of the Artic at the North Pole. Two years ago, the
    idea of an ice-free Arctic was a serious consideration.”It does
    represent a fundamental change in our global climate. And it’s a
    concern with any of the global warming scenarios,” says James Morison
    of the University of Washington.NASA climate scientist James Hansen
    believes the world has little time left to combat greenhouse gases. “I
    think we have a very brief window of opportunity to deal with climate
    change…no longer than a decade at the most,” he told a climate
    conference this week.If nothing is done, the global warming forecasts
    speak of rising sea levels worldwide – 3 feet to 20 foot higher seas
    from Manhattan to Malibu by century’s end – but disaster planners say
    there might still be a fix in the best-case scenario, a way to shore up
    America. But there’s a cost.”The estimates of what it would cost to
    defend or adapt the entire United States to the low estimates of rising
    sea levels is a couple of hundred million dollars a year over the
    coming century,” says Rob Lempert of the Rand Corporation.That’s if
    policymakers take the warnings seriously. There are some who contend
    global warming is fiction — that the sky is not falling. But at the top
    of the world, something is going on: The ice is disappearing.