That white-fringed arrow-shaped land mass is Greenland. A research paper is about to be published, and it's already causing an ice storm in the climate change world. Details of the paper are being combed over by science geeks, and the conclusion seems to be: this paper says global warming may not be as extreme as earlier models suggested. In fact, it could take a lot more CO2 to make further temperature increases. What we have is what we're gonna get.
And that could mean: less severe temperature climbs, more of the same (worse and freakier storms), endangered alpine and arctic organisms, and the birth of the Northwest Passage. Those pics from the European Space Agency (see above) reveal the once-fabled Northwest Passage now exists around the northern edge of Canada, along with a parallel route across the northern edge of Russia. Of course, this is bitterly ironic because one of the great contributors to global warming has apparently been the oil industry. Well, here's a quote from one Rutgers scientist about the warming waters of the Arctic region: “Fishing, shipping, oil exploration will all be easier to do in the Arctic if there is less ice around for a shorter time,”
So, of course, the oil industry will benefit. Don't they always. war, economic crises, hurricanes. All help the oil guys. Oh, and all our cars don't hurt much. And we've already blogged about the land grab to come as new territories emerge from the ice. For Russia to have access by ship to her own north coast, for Europe to ship directly across the polar region to Japan and China...these are geopolitical shifts and potential economic hurricanes without precedent in modern history.
The Rutgers quote came in their release today of research done on the Barents Sea. Guess what: hotter water, less ice. And I don't suspect they meant that retreating ice is goof for both fishing industry and the fish. THere'll be a race to deplete the fkish population for as much profit as possible. A little rare Arctic turbot with your hearts of palm and filet of lion, sir?