"Melting on top of the World" by Stefan Rahmstorf

POTSDAM – In 1845, Captain Sir John Franklin of the British Royal Navy led 128 men on two iron-plated steam ships, Erebus and Terror, into the Arctic, where they eventually disappeared. The voyage was the culmination of four centuries of failed attempts to navigate the Northwest Passage – a direct route from Europe to Asia across the Arctic Ocean – and remains one of the greatest tragedies in the history of polar exploration.

This illustration is by Paul Lachine and comes from <a href="http://www.newsart.com">NewsArt.com</a>, and is the property of the NewsArt organization and of its artist. Reproducing this image is a violation of copyright law.

Today, a far greater Arctic tragedy is unfolding: the Arctic sea-ice cap is melting. Last month, an unprecedented new low was reached after decades of decline. Indeed, the ice cap’s area has decreased by half since the 1980’s, when summer sea-ice still extended over roughly seven million square kilometers, as opposed to less than four million today. It is now likely smaller than it has been for at least a millennium and a half.

In 2007, the Northwest Passage was ice-free for the first time in living memory. Boats of all sizes – including cruise ships – have sailed through easily in summers since then

Read the rest here.

More like this

The North Polar ice sheet continues to recede, setting yet another record: Sea ice extent continues to decline, and is now at 4.78 million square kilometers (1.84 million square miles), falling yet further below the record absolute minimum of 5.32 million square kilometers (2.05 million square…
August sea ice extent in the Arctic this year was 640,000 square kilometers below the previous record set in 2007.  It is also already a record monthly low for any month, though that record will not last as it is going to be broken this September when the lowest extent of the year is normally…
*note Global Warming is VERY BAD and title is sarcasm. Flashback to 1992, it's early in the morning and a decrepit high school teacher stands before a class discussing the finer points of history. In the back row sits a smart ass, me, not listening and telling himself why should a future marine…
You've heard that the Arctic ice cap has shrunk, and that there are sea lanes open in the northern summer that had not been open previously, and on and so forth. Since the start of the satellite record in 1979, scientists have observed the continued disappearance of older "multiyear" sea ice that…

"Read the rest here" link is broken for me.

By singletrack (not verified) on 17 Sep 2012 #permalink

The link can be fixed. Remove the spurious "http://" from the end.

By Greg Wellman (not verified) on 17 Sep 2012 #permalink

Yes, for some reason the "http://" prefix is at the end rather than the beginning.

singletrack, the rest of the story isn't worth it, it's always the same with stefan's hysterical alarmism. according to him we are already dead, hahahaha hahahaha

Take that extra http:// off the end and it works.

Also, sea ice extent has continued to drop since the record was set, and now stands below 3.5 million sq km. That is less than half the 1979-2000 average low.

ahcuah, and all this arctic sea ice already swims in the ocean and melting of all part of it does not increase the sea level since it's swimming in the water. hahahaha, bad luck for the alarmists, you have shot yourself in your knee and as always lost the argumentation against climate realists, hahahhaha

kai, do you have any self-awareness of all? Your illiterate dribble is a shameful indictment on the state of our education system.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 18 Sep 2012 #permalink

Don't fret, kai's never been through an education system.

kai, do you have any self-awareness of all?

I'm guessing kai is a bot. It doesn't appear to pass the turing test.

By Mal Adapted (not verified) on 18 Sep 2012 #permalink

wow, maldapted, whirlpool: the problem with you is simply that you feel terribly inferior to people like me, your formation is insufficient to develop your own opinion on climate fraud, since you all are no meterologists and therefore bloody laymen with climate and weather. do depend on your gurus whom you blindly follow without own critical reasoning. therefore you are only little boys with poor education and narcisstic disturbances

Yup, when you stand on your head, you think you're looking "down" on everyone else.

Hi Coby,

I don't know the best thread for this, so I will post it here. I tried the HTTACS threads, but they appear to be broken.

An excellent and very significant study has just been published in Nature - Climate Change, on changing vegetation patterns in northen latitudes. It has found up to 7 degree shift - that's nearly 800 km - in the ecosystem latitudinal range of vegetation.

Deniers can argue all they like about the accuracy of themometer measurements etc, or whether or not computer models are valid, but nature doesn't care. When vegetation patterns and seasonal factors like this change, there can be no doubt what is happening.

I reported those broken links a couple of weeks ago and was told it is being worked on. If ever it is worth the trouble to you, or any other readers, replacing ".php" with "/" takes you there (there is supposed to be an automatic redirection). This is all knock on effects of the move to NatGeo.

Thanks Coby,

I also have an ongoing issue with the "recent comments'. It doesn't seem to sta up to date. Sometimes it has the latest info, others not. I can't work out any rhyme or reason for the differences, except it appears to be up to date if I just post, but sometime later it reverts to an arbitrary time in the past - and I cannot work out why.

This sounds familiar, didn't we have a problem with that back when the site first switched over..? Regardless, I will forward your issue description to technical support.

Its cookies.

If you cleaned your cookies recently (the ones for scienceblogs.com), then you'll get whatever the blog site thinks it can be bothered to show.

wow, foul rubbish, even this you don't understand. The problem has to do with browser cache (hint for you: has nothing to do with money or so)

no, freddy, you're wrong.

This is kind of your ground state.

Indeed the only state you can occupy. Seemingly a degenerate state.

wow, I guess you don't even know what cookies are, and even less what browser cache is. You hear a few words here and there and you immediately think you are an expert. But you aren't, isn't it? (statement and question)

You guess wrong, kai.

"But you aren’t, isn’t it? (statement and question)"

Grammatically and ontologically incorrect.

Unless you're speaking colloquial welsh, boyo.

mandas in #17:

Yes, tech support reminds me that it is a cookie issue, as Wow says. They need to be enabled for the recent comment widget to behave properly. Tech support sends their regrets but no solution beyond submission to that constraint and a hope that a future redevelopment may address this.....

Coby, with all due respect, I don't believe that the described problem has anything to do with cookies, but rather with browser cache. Your tech support does not appear to be very competent. Did you get this strange information from primary support people, web designers or real web application developers or specialists who know how to setup a content management system . BTW, one of the companies I own is specialized in ECMS, CMS, Workflow etc. applications. We are familiar with the kind of problems you have described.

Your beliefs have no bearing on reality.

Hi Coby,

I would just like to bring everyone's attention to this news article published in the LA Times on 13 September 2012. I will say that again - 13 SEPTEMBER LAST YEAR!!!!


I have checked the source and can link to it if you like, but it is immaterial to the point, which is nicely encapsulated in this quote from the article:

"Arctic sea ice is shrinking at a rate much faster than scientists ever predicted, and its collapse, due to global warming, may well cause extreme weather this winter in North America and Europe, according to climate scientists."

Can't say we weren't warned!!!