The domestic and international security implications of an ice free Arctic ocean will be briefed at the White House this week.
The meeting is bringing together Nasa's acting chief scientist, Gale Allen, the director of the US National Science Foundation, Cora Marett, as well as representatives from the US Department of Homeland Security and the Pentagon.
Senior scientists advising the US government at the meeting include 10 Arctic specialists, including marine scientist Prof Carlos Duarte, director of the Oceans Institute at the University of Western Australia.
In early April, Duarte warned that the Arctic summer sea ice was melting at a rate faster than predicted by conventional climate models, and could be ice free as early as 2015 - rather than toward the end of the century, as the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projected in 2007. He said:
"The Arctic situation is snowballing: dangerous changes in the Arctic derived from accumulated anthropogenic green house gases lead to more activities conducive to further greenhouse gas emissions. This situation has the momentum of a runaway train."It is finally sinking in that the warming Arctic is creating a new atmospheric reality for the northern hemisphere. The polar jet stream now loops far to the south in slow moving Rossby waves that can bring sustained weather extremes - floods and droughts - to North America, Asia and Europe with crippling impacts on global food production.
US national security officials have taken an increasing interest in the destabilising impact of climate change. In February this year, the US Department of Defense (DoD) released its new Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which noted that global warming will have:
"... significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to greater competition for more limited and critical life-sustaining resources like food and water."And all Alberta and Ottawa can think about is how to move millions of barrels of dilbit a day to Asian markets, no matter the perils to B.C. and the environmental havoc of burning high-carbon fossil fuels. They can't bother with the Arctic. That would only contradict their energy superpowerdom narrative.