All Sea Ice Melted Around Alaska’s Coast As Iceland Prepares To Cope Without Ice
The climate crisis couldn’t be more blatantly obvious, as Iceland held a funeral for the Okjökull glacier, the first of a probable many to melt away. “The country of Iceland is now preparing for how it will cope without any more ice,” reports Truthout. We can use our eyes to see the dramatic effects of a warming climate, as glaciers that have existed for thousands of years melt.
Meanwhile, in Alaska, a historic summer heatwave eliminated all sea ice for 150 miles around the coast. It’s the first time this happened so early in the year as seas are 9 or 10 degrees Fahrenheit above average.
“Alaska waters are ice-free,” said Rick Thoman, a climate specialist at the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy.
“This is definitely an extreme year — even by more recent standards in a changed Arctic,” noted Walt Walt Meier, a senior research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center.”
An Arctic researcher told Mashable that he’s running out of words to describe what’s going on.
“I’m losing the ability to communicate the magnitude [of change],” Jeremy Mathis, a longtime Arctic researcher and current board director at the National Academies of Sciences, told Mashable in June, when sea ice levels were at their lowest point in the satellite record for that period. “I’m running out of adjectives to describe the scope of change we’re seeing.”
As the sea ice melts, the darker ocean waters trap more solar energy, a literal ripple effect. Changes may occur much faster than expected, according to climate scientists. The long-term warming of the Arctic will affect the entire world.
The Arctic is changing faster than anywhere else on Earth. It’s a place where you can see climate change happening. Arctic Pack ice second lowest on record this year. Alaska has been free of summer sea ice for only the second time… cont. pic.twitter.com/YL489U5dme
— Steve Backshall (@SteveBackshall) August 30, 2019
The Truthout report points to many more disturbing consequences, along with the probability that we can’t possibly understand what is coming next.
- A report shows Miami Beach, Galveston, Atlantic City, and Key West, will soon be underwater. The permafrost across the Canadian Arctic is thawing out 70 years sooner than previously predicted.
- The rainy Northwest is now facing the inevitable increased risk of wildfires due to higher temperatures, increasing drought, and lower humidity.
- A large current of air from the U.S. southeast made its way to the northernmost settlement in the world at Nunavut. For a time, it was hotter there than in British Columbia.
Watch as Alaska kayakers escape the wave from a suddenly melting glacier in August from KRQE News:
The BP Oil company reports that fossil fuel burning has reached all-time high records. In response, the Trump administration hides its irresponsible head in the freshly melted mud. For the sake of future generations and every living thing on Earth, it’s decades overdue to take action. At this point, we may not be able to stop many catastrophes, but we have to try.
See more from Al Jazeera English:
Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube