Photos dating back through the past few years reveal starkly how the ice sheets are melting in the Arctic. Progressively the summer ice cover is retreating in the Arctic, meaning each winter restores less and less ice. These photos were taken by American military spy tech so that was reason enough for the Bush-Cheney Admin to classify them. Never know when the Taliban might contemplate a strike against the surviving polar bears. And we don't want anybody hyperventilating over this global warming bruhaha. Bad for business.
Now those photos have been released by the current regime. And they show summer open water far greater than would have been seen even ten years ago.
The summer of 2007 showed over a million square kilometers of open Arctic Sea, a record in modern times. I recently was told by a Norwegian authority that their records already show Summer, 2009, could be as iceless as 2007 or even a new record. Here's one report in Europe indicating 2009 may be the Arctic's most ice-less summer since we began taking note of nature's ways.
Over 1,000 of these Arctic images can now be seen online, resolution down to one-meter. The government website is very difficult to navigate, however. This NASA press release does have some easily accessible maps and images of Arctic ice melt.
Of course this means pushing and shoving over money to be made on use of Northwest Passage. Canada could be in a dominant position. Even mini-powers in Europe seem ready to shoulder in: Denmark and Norway, for example. The rich aroma of money to be made stirs patriotic blood it seems.
STANDARD BOILER PLATE
This verbiage will now be attached to any blog I do about global warming. It’s amazing to me that somebody who can apparently read and then post comments still wonders in public why global warming matters on a technology web site. But I am naive, always assuming everybody’s paying attention.
It’s because of money. If global warming has enough acceptance among corporations, the public and even pols, there will be more money spent on green tech, wisely or unwisely. If oil prices stay low and most people don’t care a fig about global warming, green tech will have a difficult time succeeding, regardless of its merits. Not every good idea succeeds. VCs usually invest where they think there’s best chance for a good return. In greentech as in any tech the winners will often be determined by luck, brilliance, timing, happenstance and even marketing. Behind it all will be the money and behind that: whether the evidence for global warming and curtailing pollution drive action or is written off as claptrap.