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Monday, April 28, 2008

The Melting Arctic Ice Cap in Pictures

we could actually see open water over the North Pole this summer.

But maybe we'll get lucky and open water up north will hold off until 2009 or 2010. Fingers crossed.

Now, the melting of the Polar Ice caps won't directly affect us. That ice sits on water, so when it melts, it won't raise ocean levels. We'll only be directly affected when one of the big land-locked sheets of ice in Greenland or the Antarctic slides into the sea.

And if a picture is worth a thousand words, here's a low-resolution reproduction of a sequence of satellite images of Arctic ice.

You can see a stream of multi-year ice flowing out of the Arctic basin down the east coast of Greenland. As of the middle of March, most of the basin, including the pole itself, appears to be covered only by seasonal ice.

The good news is the melting of the Arctic unlocks untold riches in the far North. The bad news is we may be on a the cusp of a natural disaster of Biblical proportions.
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