Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Manhattan-sized Ice Shelf Breaks Away

In the latest event to be rationalized away by the AGW denialists, a 4,500 year old ice shelf, roughly the size of Manhattan, has broken away from Ellesmere Island in northern Canada.

"Ellesmere Island was once entirely ringed by a single enormous ice shelf that broke up in the early 1900s. All that is left today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover little more than 299 square miles.

Martin Jeffries of the U.S. National Science Foundation and University of Alaska Fairbanks said in a statement Tuesday that the summer's ice shelf loss is equivalent to over three times the area of Manhattan, totaling 82 square miles — losses that have reduced Arctic Ocean ice cover to its second-biggest retreat since satellite measurements began 30 years ago.

'These changes are irreversible under the present climate and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present,' said Muller.

During the last century, when ice shelves would break off, thick sea ice would eventually reform in their place.

'But today, warmer temperatures and a changing climate means there's no hope for regrowth. A scary scenario,' said Muller.

'The Markham Ice Shelf had half the biomass for the entire Canadian Arctic Ice Shelf ecosystem as a habitat for cold, tolerant microbial life; algae that sit on top of the ice shelf and photosynthesis like plants would. Now that it's disappeared, we're looking at ecosystems on the verge of distinction,' said Muller."


Read the full story here. 4,500 years. Digest that for a moment. Something that was around 2,000 years before Jesus is going to be gone. And there are still people who deny it is happening.

2 comments:

alex said...

http://www.dailytech.com/Arctic+Sees+Massive+
Gain+in+Ice+Coverage/article12851.htm

Contradiction?

ScienceAvenger said...

Not if it is this story. that's just another case of denialists using invalid cherry-picking techniques. To have credibility, you have to look at ALL the data, not just the piece that tells you want you want to hear.