Arctic melting

Britain's Royal Society held that there was insufficient understanding of the enhanced melting and retreat of the ice sheets on Greenland and West Antarctica to predict exactly how much the rate of sea level rise will increase above that observed in the past century for a given temperature increase. The Royal Society did not deny global warming is occurring but admits no one cause can be assigned to it.

According to Eric Post of Penn State University - the lead author the International Polar Year research of 2007/08: ''the Arctic as we know it may soon be a thing of the past." And "temperatures across the Arctic are estimated to be increasing two or three times faster than those in the rest of the planet." These statements are backed by recorded facts.

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A 1990 study by the United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration found that there was a lack of warming in the troposphere in the tropics. However, the latest paper in 2011, reviewed 195 cited papers, climate model results and atmospheric data sets and found that the troposphere is warming.

A 2013 paper published by Boston University, in Nature Climate Change, held that it's long been known that climate change is proceeding more quickly in the Arctic than anywhere else - about twice the global average. Most of the warming that's happening in the Arctic is taking place in winter with somewhat less happening in spring and fall and the least in the summer.

Using satellite data, the team found the change that's already happened is equivalent to about five degrees of latitude. They then averaged 17 different climate models to suggest that, by the end of the century, Victoria Island will have the same temperature profile as Wyoming.

In 2016, researchers confirmed the widespread release of ancient carbon from melting Arctic permafrost under Arctic lakes. Scientists have long known that permafrost contains vast quantities of carbon in dead plants and other organic material, about twice as much as the entire atmosphere. They hold that the increasingly warmer Arctic may eventually reach a permafrost-carbon tipping point. Scientists estimate there are more than 1,400 petagrams of old carbon stored in permafrost. Each petagram is a billion tonnes.

Global warming is occurring worldwide, but why is there such a marked increase in acceleration rate in the Canadian Arctic? The only marked difference that is noticeable between Antarctica and the Arctic is the number of international flights using the Arctic as corridors. The airplane exhaust is a visible layer of smog that is compatible with the altitude used by those flights. Could the seasonal curtailment of sunlight allow these warmed pollutants to drop down to the surface and is this the trigger responsible for the accelerated surface melting that occurs mostly in winter?

The final question has to do with the Paris Accord and Canada's commitment to it. Who does Environment Minister McKenna expect to pay the carbon tax levied on the massive amounts of greenhouse gases being released? Would she hold both of the two local governments and their resident citizens responsible or bill the airlines that made them?

Abe Bourdon


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