The oldest sea ice in the Arctic is thousands of years old, and in places it’s a hundred meters (330 feet) thick, locked in ice shelves which cling to the farthest northern coasts. The most extensive Arctic ice shelves are in Canada along the coast of Ellesmere Island. In fact they define the coastline there, forming part of the permanent geography of that land.
At least, they used to.
“Recent (ice shelf) loss has been very rapid, and goes hand-in-hand with the rapid sea ice decline we have seen in this decade and the increasing warmth and extensive melt in the Arctic regions,” said Ted Scambos, lead scientist at the National Snow and Ice Data Center. He added that Arctic shelves are old and their rapid loss underscores the severity of the warming trend scientists see now relative to past fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period. In fact these ice shelves have been in place for 3,000 to 5,000 years. Now they’re vanishing, right before our eyes.
Derek Mueller of Carleton University and Luke Copland from the University of Ottawa report that ice shelves have declined “considerably” almost every summer since 2005.
Why would such a change occur, one definitely not seen for at least 3,000 years and possible much longer? Could it be the heat?
I’m sure that some fake “skeptics” will soon come along to explain how it can’t possibly be man-made global warming.