Fellow North Carolinian James Hrynyshyn (pronounced James "H") has written an alarming piece about an alarming discovery. The Arctic summer sea ice was supposed to last until 2040, which gave us time to fix things, at least a little bit. Now, it looks like it will be gone by 2020.
I will leave it up to James to give you the whole story, but below the fold are a few puckering blockquotes. I'm off to Dick's Sporting Goods to buy a kayak and life vests.
James points out that the initial finding was greeted with some scoffing and frump-frump-frumping.
As MSNBC's Alex Johnson reported,
"What's happening to the Earth as a whole is a catastrophe, and the disappearance of Arctic sea ice has got to be one of the first indicators of the catastrophic changes," Wadhams told ITN's Lawrence McGinty. "It's something we can see. We can see it from space - the Arctic pack ice is there, it's white, and soon it won't be there."
Sounds bad, but it was the death of two Royal Navy sailors during Wadham's submarine expedition that attracted more attention that his scientific findings. And what little reporting there was tended to add the usual skeptical observations, such as this one
Walt Meier, a research scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, called Wadhams' 13-year projection "extreme, but not completely implausible," and cautioned that the thinning could simply be the result of "compression of thicker ice into a smaller region."
So, do you want to make a bet about who was right, the alarmist or the skeptic?
In a slightly ironic twist, however, it was Meier's own National Snow and Ice Data Center that later helped confirm those overly pessimistic findings, which received much more media attention yesterday and today.