Sunday, April 19, 2009

No Longer Permanent
The arctic ice is going.

OTTAWA (Reuters) - The head of a British team walking to the North Pole on a mission to gauge how fast Arctic ice sheets are melting said on Friday he was surprised by how little permanent ice he had found so far.

Pen Hadow and two other adventurers set off in early March on a 1,000-km (620-mile) trek from Canada's Arctic to the North Pole. The team was set down in an area where scientists had been sure there would be permanent multiyear ice.

But so far, the average depth of the ice has been just under 1.8 meters (6 feet), suggesting they are finding predominantly new first-year ice that is likely to melt in summer months.

"My surprise is guided by the scientific community's expectations of what the ice should be here," Hadow told Reuters via satellite phone from about 620 km from the North Pole.

"In the opening section of the (journey), most would have anticipated multiyear ice, ice certainly more than 2 meters and really more than 3.5 meters thick."

The team said in a statement that the findings pointed to an ever-smaller summer ice covering around the Pole this year.

It is going to be an intersting couple of decades.

1 comment:

Keith Bien said...

I figured this was the best way to send you a Happy Birthday wish. We started a Blog.(there is almost nothing there, yet) so maybe you will check up on us now and again.
can't believe I never made the 420 connection before. Hard to forget your birthday, now. Peace--K