Arctic ice melt has profound implications.

  Forum Editor 01:14 AM 09 Sep 12

Perhaps it's about time we all started to believe that there really is something to be seriously worried about?

Here's the story

  OTT_B 02:01 AM 09 Sep 12

Where to begin on this......

I suspect that there is not enough time for me tonight to look up reference information to try and bring the article into context. There are figures in there that are, as far as I can see, pretty much meaningless.

But the quote that really needs checking out is "As a scientist, I know that this is unprecedented in at least as much as 1,500 years. It is truly amazing - it is a huge dramatic change in the system," Dr Hansen said."

More information needed. A lot more.

Is there something worth worrying about? Not based on this article there isn't, no. There is something worth more time and resource investigating.

  morddwyd 08:56 AM 09 Sep 12

The biggest fear, I think, is that it may eventually become self-sustaining, and go into runaway which no amount of corrective measures will stop.

  WhiteTruckMan 09:29 AM 09 Sep 12

Perhaps it's about time we all started to believe that there really is something to be seriously worried abut?

Not really. You might not have enough things in your life to worry about, but I assure you I already have enough for three lifetimes, without adding more! And there's no point whatsoever to worrying about things that you can have no practical influence whatsoever. If you assume the causes are man made (that there are causes I have no doubt, but their origins are another matter) then whatever we do in this country will be far, far undone by the growing economies of the BRIC nations.

All we as individuals can really do is hang onto our hats, something that I have had long practice in!


  rickf 09:38 AM 09 Sep 12

It's not totally man-made but we have certainly contributed greatly to it's acceleration. The consequences are disastrous. Flooding comes to mind. I have just come back from SEA and I can tell you the heat is extreme compared to when I was there a few years ago.My childhood was spent there and I can't remember it so searingly hot!

  Aitchbee 09:56 AM 09 Sep 12

I noticed some fluctuations in the 5 year period from 2007 to 2012 of the amount of ice melting to water then re-freezing to ice.('s the little graphic at the bottom of the BBC report).

It's a well-known fact that 'hot' water freezes much quicker than 'cold' water when you are trying to make perhaps the Arctic Ice Melt will revert back to thick ice in a decade or so.

  johndrew 10:03 AM 09 Sep 12

As I understand it, we are still emerging from and ice-age and given the rather long periods that global weather adopts we still don't have a full weather cycle with which to compare our current situation.

It would appear from the fossil records that global temperature has changed many times. This is supported by astrophysicists who show that our progress around the sun and the tilt angle of the earth will lead to periods where global temperatures will change markedly. This may well lead to some extinction of species and modification of others all without the help of man.

Whilst I feel certain that man has an effect - as do many other species - on the climate of the earth I also believe nature to have far more power than we ever shall.

  namtas 16:24 PM 09 Sep 12

And even if I do believe what can I personally do about it?

  Forum Editor 16:39 PM 09 Sep 12

"And even if I do believe what can I personally do about it?"

That's pretty much it, really - most of us realise that although there is undoubtedly a problem, and although we may have been contributing to it since the industrial revolution it's not something that we can avert. Individually we feel powerless.

What we can do however, is try to make an effort to understand the causes better than we do, and perhaps modify the ways in which we've been behaving as a race for a long time, so that future generations might not have to deal with too much of our baggage.

The planet will continue to do what it does in the long term, but it's the short to medium term consequences of major depletions of the polar ice volume that will affect us in the coming decades.

European scientists can now measure polar ice thickness to an extraordinary degree of accuracy via very powerful satellite-mounted radar. Cryosat has been imaging the ice for over a year and a half now, and the results have confirmed what other observations have told us - the ice thickness is reduced. More data are being analysed, and some very precise results will soon be available.

  morddwyd 19:06 PM 09 Sep 12

"It's a well-known fact that 'hot' water freezes much quicker than 'cold' "

It is?

I didn't know hot water could freeze.

  bremner 20:09 PM 09 Sep 12

It has been a well known fact for over 2000 years Click Here


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