Water And Oceanography

Why Arctic Sea Ice is Thinner



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According to many recent scientific studies, Arctic sea ice is thinning. However, the amount of loss depends on which report you believe is the most accurate.

Some scientists insist that over the past decade an alarming 40 percent of the Arctic sea ice has disappeared. However, supposedly more accurate readings by U.S. Navy submarine probing records indicate that the loss is not higher than one percent a year, with a total thinning of about 10 percent over the past decade.

The difference in the estimated figures is still disputed, and which one to accept seems to depend more on political attitudes than atmospheric findings. Over the past several years, U.S. ex-Vice President Al Gore has earned an Academy Award and Nobel Prize for his very well-publicized studies and revelations that the Earth is warming at an alarming rate and the reasons for it.

Gore’s belief is that if the situation continues, it will dry up oceans and turn world farmlands into deserts. He also associates the warming deterioration with air pollution, and predicts that the combination of excessive heat and foul air can eventually erase life on Earth.

Other scientific studies that disagree with that dire prediction insist that the changes in Arctic sea ice have fluctuated greatly for eons, long before mankind came on the world scene. They claim the Arctic nor any other parts of the world of today can’t be too greatly affected by mankind adding puny amounts of human-caused contamination to the natural occurrences.

The Navy submarine studies appear to accept that theory, because their research involved carefully boring large bores upward through ice as thick as 30 feet. The ice columns retrieved from those holes are representatives of at least 100 thousand years of accumulation, melting and refreezing again. Within the columns are examples of periods in the Arctic Ocean warming and cooling many times throughout those eons. They attribute today's air-warming trends to just another natural cycle.

Many scientific records over the past decade do support the theory that the Arctic Ocean is seeing thinner sea ice for this ear and into the future. However, the winter of 2010-2011 has produced a tremendous increase in snow and freezing temperatures throughout America, Canada and Northern Europe.

Additionally, there are reports almost every winter day of airport shut-downs because of snow and ships becoming caught in Arctic ice. Florida is experiencing one of its coldest winters in weather history. It could be that instead of global warming, we may be approaching another Ice Age.

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