tip of the iceberg ? or the end of it ?

North Pole could be ice free in 2008 says the new scientist Environment.

You know when climate change is biting hard when instead of a vast expanse of snow the North Pole is a vast expanse of water. This year, for the first time, Arctic scientists are preparing for that possibility.

I am not an environmental expert, and so don't know exactly what this implies.. but the article goes on to point out
What is more, the extent of the ice is only half the picture. Satellite images show that most of the Arctic ice at the moment is thin, young ice that has only been around since last autumn
Despite its news value in the media, the North Pole being ice free is not in itself significant. To scientists, Serreze points out, "this is just another point on the globe". What is worrying, though, is the fact that multi-year ice – the stuff that doesn't melt in the summer – is not piling up as fast as Arctic ice generally is melting.
Some factors could still save the day, though. In summer 2007, warm winds favoured melting. "If we have an atmospheric pattern like we had last year, we are going to lose a whole bunch of ice this summer, but if we have a cooler, more cyclonic pattern, that might preserve some of that ice," says Serreze.

The article also mentions
In September 2007, Arctic sea ice reached a record low, opening up the fabled North-West passage that runs from Greenland to Alaska.
I guess thats what is mentioned here also

The Northwest Passage, one that eluded famous explorers, may become a shipping lane because so much ice is melting in the Arctic. And now there's a race to see who will get rights to the melting area, where a U.S. study has suggested as much as 25 percent of the world's undiscovered oil and gas could be hidden.

Talking about gas prices.. the hike in the last one month or so.... - I guess globally the prices are shooting up, but is it also a hike so that closer to the US elections in November it can be reduced - I vaguely remember a similar gimmick in 2004 ... but hey, Bush ws seeking a re-election that time where as there is nothing like that this time... still is that going to happen ?

Well , like so many things in life, time alone can tell, I guess


Anonymous said…
very apt title for a burning issue. ney melting issue !