- Politics and Social Issues
Arctic Sea Ice Melting Much Faster Than Expected - Part III
Yet another factor would be the increase in the recently observed corrosion caused by the warming of Arctic waters to underwater sea life in the Arctic Ocean. The presence of various minerals and chemicals which are not present in the Arctic Ocean under "normal" conditions are literally eating away at underwater life!
Thanks to Prof. Barber's research we now find that the statistics which have been published in the past couple of years showing that the Arctic sea ice was returning to a somewhat normal state, have been proven to be entirely incorrect. The Arctic is melting at an even faster rate than ever before and the potential of having a completely ice-free Arctic in the future has now become a much closer prospect.
An ice-free Arctic is not desirable in any way, not only for the continued survival of arctic wildlife such as seals and polar bears that rely on the Arctic ice to survive through the winter, but also due to the mechanisms which affect ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is essentially powered through the temperature and salinity differentials of the Arctic Ocean versus the warmer southern oceans. Constant mixing of temperatures of water is the fuel behind the engine of the Gulf Stream. It is that Gulf Stream which allows the residents of the United Kingdom, for example, to have relatively mild and snow-free winters where other inhabitants of the same latitude such as in Northern Saskatchewan and Alberta in Canada, are suffering through temperatures of -40 degrees and several feet of snow.
Should the Gulf Stream lose its Arctic salinity and temperature differential flow to the warmer southern waters, it is theoretically possible that the Gulf Stream would cease entirely, in which case Northern Europe could be, in a shockingly short time of a year or two, gripped by what could readily be called another Ice Age. It is entirely feasible that Scotland, for instance, would cease to be inhabitable as the current buildings which exist in Scotland itself are simply not insulated or heated to a sufficient degree to allow the inhabitants to survive a northern Canadian type of winter where temperatures regularly dip to well below freezing for 9 months of the year!
The termination of the Gulf Stream would drastically change the entire climatic standards and conditions of all lands which border the Atlantic and even the Pacific Ocean. The extents of climatic changes are truly inestimable. That is why very careful attention must be paid to Prof. Barber's research and solutions must be found as to how to possibly regain solid healthy Sea ice in the Arctic as the existence and livelihood of tens of millions or possibly hundreds of thousands of millions of people in the Northern hemisphere depend on that solution.
Will it be possible to reverse global warming and return the Arctic Sea ice to its former healthy state? The verdict is still out, yet it is a question which will have significant effects on life on this planet.