[FoRK] Arctic Ice Cap Recession

J. Andrew Rogers <andrew at ceruleansystems.com> on Sat Sep 15 23:53:12 PDT 2007

On Sep 15, 2007, at 6:08 PM, Jeffrey Winter wrote:
> People may have read recently that the annual summer ice cap recession
> is already 20% lower than at any time ever recorded (and is still  
> shrinking.)

Neat, that will alter the environment for some old geopolitical and  
economic assumptions.

Note that this is just the first time the northern passage has opened  
in recorded history, it has done it many times in human history.  It  
wasn't tragic then, it shouldn't be tragic now.  The polar bears will  
survive; I actually would expect them to survive anyway since they  
are an interbreeding mutant brown bear.

> I put together an animation built from a series of sea ice  
> concentration images
> from the National Snow and Ice Data Center and posted it here:
>   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=onWoah881JQ

Cool.  Coincidentally, I have nice thermal imaging data for the exact  
same period of time running as a (heavy) animation in Google Earth at  
the moment, but it never occurred to me to look at the Arctic; I have  
no interest in this data per se, I am working on making it available  
to the public.

I wonder what impact, if any, the practical public availability of  
this type of data will have on policy.  I mean, I see compellingly  
pretty pictures that make things seem more concrete, but any analysis  
I could put to what I see would be either worthless or grossly naive  
and therefore has no place in a serious discussion of the topic.   
That's what we pay the scientists for. :-)


J. Andrew Rogers

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