Arctic Ice: the best explanation you can get in under 5 minutes


Bookmark and Share

A Beautiful but Terrible Scene: Sunset over Arctic Summer Sea Ice
A Beautiful but Terrible Scene: Sunset over Arctic Summer Sea Ice

Arctic sea ice extent and volume in the summer and winter has gotten lots of attention lately. The ice is a thin skin, more like ice covering a water filled bucket left out in the cold. Lots of the thicker ice has melted and hasn’t re-frozen. I’m sure some people wonder why anyone besides Polar Bears and Eskimos would care?

Set aside that Polar Bears are in trouble because their hunting ranges were out on the now melting Arctic ice. The bears that survive the swim back to land are heading south, closer to human settled areas, to hunt and scrounge…

Ignore that “Eskimos” and other indigenous populations are losing their livelihoods. Pay no attention to the soil under their homes that’s melting away as the frost gets taken out of the ‘permafrost’…

Ignore all that…

The Arctic ice cap is part of our planetary thermostat. The reflective ice cap helps keep temperatures where we’re used to experiencing them. Those of us with automobiles, particularly in the U.S., could think of the cap like the reflective sun shades some of us put in behind our car’s windshields… it can’t stop the heating from the sun, but it can help keep it from getting seriously hot. Don’t put the sun shade up, and the temperature starts rising.

The good folks at NASA are studying ice all over the planet, and have put together a video to help explain to people why that melting ice is important to them. Check it out.

Bookmark and Share



Advertisements