Around this globe of ours, there have been 10 really hot years that destroyed permanent ice and glaciers. Last year was one of them, and we have yet to hear about this year. The American Meteorological Society collaborates with the US NOAA to give regular reports on the Arctic. This time, it was really bad news. We already commented frequently on the huge loss of ice, the plight of polar bears and the temperature trends. Now the climatic trend is based, apparently on the climbing levels of carbon, the rising sea-levels and that global warming we all dread.
The Arctic, according to NOAA administrator, Kathryn D. Sullivan, had conditions causing unprecedented change and broke several records. The story we all ran was the lowest ever summer minimum for ice cover (in the 34 years of satellite records.) Perhaps the most shocking new figure is the quadrupling of the melt, with 97% of the Greenland ice sheet dribbling away!
The "lowlights" of the report (although they are almost all higher) were:
Overall the links between these vital statistics are the real attraction of the new figures. As a NOAA climatologist put it, "Over the past seven years of so, it appears that the ice melt is contributing more than twice as much to the global sea level rise compared with warming waters."
Her opinion is worth considering. So are the reactions of her president and all the others who can't do enough to prevent this awful slow-motion accident that is about to happen to all of us.
NOAA and the AMS publish this report under the title of 2012 State of the Climate .