Forget about 2050 or even 2030. In less than three years the Arctic Ocean could become ice free.
Louis Fortier, scientific director of ArcticNet, a Canadian research network, said the sea ice is melting faster than predicted by models created by international teams of scientists, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
They had forecast the Arctic Ocean could be free of summer ice as early as 2050. But Fortier told an international conference on defence and security in Quebec City yesterday that the worst-case scenarios are becoming reality.
"The frightening models we didn't even dare to talk about before are now proving to be true," Fortier told CanWest News Service, referring to computer models that take into account the thinning of the sea ice and the warming from the albedo effect -- the Earth is absorbing more energy as the sea ice melts.
The Arctic, considered to be the barometer of global climate change, is warming faster than expected and this could cause global average temperatures to rise still more.
"The most unbelievable thing is the total absence of ice in straits where you never thought you would ever be able to navigate. The changes are not progressive anymore, they are dramatic," he said.
When it comes to our political leadership and global warming, the Harper Tories are positively neanderthal in responding. If we're going to deal with this we have to act nationally, independently. No more, "we'll act when China does." That's a dodge, a way to justify a global climate change gridlock.
We can fault the Chinese for having just edged out the US in total GHG emissions. They can fault the West for already having contributed the overwhelming share of GHGs that have brought us to where we are today and still being unwilling to take meaningful remedial action. Great, we all get to blame each other and - do nothing. That's a suicide pact and it's got to end.
We're criminally irresponsible if we let this charade continue. People, who just happen to be the poorest people living in distant lands, are going to pay an awful price for our selfishness. For a guy who claims to be a devout Christian, Harper seems pretty indifferent to the suffering that will follow from his "intensity-based" chicanery. Love Thy Neighbour, Steve.
To all the deniers out there, read this and I mean really read it before posting any more of your nonsensical comments: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/7092614.stm