‘Not enough ice to make a margarita’

September 21, 2009

Scientists aboard the Russian research vessel Professor Khromov spent the weekend collecting samples of water, sealife and ocean-floor mud at a spot in the western Arctic Ocean that in most years would be covered with sea ice.

The ship, carrying researchers for the six-week RUSALCA expedition, was in its most northerly planned sampling stop, or “station,”  a location nearly 350 miles (563 km) northwest of Barrow, Alaska. During the mission’s last cruise in 2004, the most northerly accessible location was 345 miles (555 km) south of the weekend’s station.

Mission coordinator Kevin Wood, of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,  writes from the ship that the water is open on all sides. “There isn’t enough ice here to make a margarita,” Wood said.

The joint U.S.-Russian expedition is carrying out research to gauge the effects of global warming on the Bering Strait and Chukchi Sea through the end of the month.

The U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center reported last week that the Arctic’s sea ice thawed to its third smallest on record. This is up slightly from from the last two years, but continues an overall decline that is symptomatic of climate change. The smallest summer ice pack on record was in 2007.

Dredging the sea floor, researchers scooped up small tube-like organisms that resemble plastic cocktail stirs. So far, they have yet to be identified, Wood said.

The Khromov is preparing now to steam another 46 miles (74 km) to where radar images show the ice edge to be.

6 comments

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” … up slightly” does NOT continue “an overall decline.” If I need to explain further, an increase REVERSES a decline, which is what actually happened.

Gibberish in this article exposes how hard the militant environmentalists are trying to make their point. It seems always to come at the expense of accuracy.

Climate is cyclical. It always has been and it always will be. The globe/world/planet/Earth is not in trouble from global warming. Stop the nonsense. Please all: Push back against the nuts. Thanks.

JM

Posted by JM in San Diego CA | Report as abusive

In the wise words of Jeremy Clarkson, “Who cares about Global Warming, we might lose holland – but there´s better places to go on holiday”

Posted by Rhys | Report as abusive

I believe the world is getting warmer, not because of something I read, but because my yard is now filled with wild palm trees. When I was a boy we had to buy palms from a truck. They were growing wild about 100 miles south of here, now they are common in Pensacola. Too bad you children are listening to the corporate propaganda. You are going to regret the stupid things you said. I am old and won’t have to live through what is comming. GOOD LUCK

Posted by John Caro | Report as abusive

Addressing three issues brought up by the denier above:

(1) An insignificant increase in one year does not reverse a declining trend over many years. It is unfortunate that Jeffrey Jones used the ambiguous word “slight” to describe this insignificant increase, but that does not excuse misapprehension on the part of the reader.

(2) Field research scientists are not “militant environmentalists”. They are fact-finders.

(3) The current decreasing trend in arctic ice is not a result of climate being cyclical.

The argument of warming naysayers, that warming is cyclical, therefore natural, so we should ignore it, seems laughable. They forget that natural cycles can last 50,000 years- long enough to snuff a civilization.
Forest fires are natural, cyclical, and once served a purpose in the eco-cycles of both forests and grasslands. Unfortunately, now that we have peoples’ homes and businesses in those locations, we fight fires and manage the landscape. We don’t just say, “eh, it’s natural. Let ‘em burn.”
Just so with global warming as a whole. Even if the higher CO2 is “normal” and cyclical, we can still do something about it to mitigate the damage, to slow down the cycle. Cities all over the world are building tidal mitigation systems, or studying designs for upcoming flood gates to stop storm surges amid rising seas; architects travel to Holland to study the dikes and coastal levees; governments everywhere, especially in small coastal and island nations prepare studies of scenarios for eventual evacuations. It is astonishing that so little is being done in New Orleans, for instance, when one eyes the extent of the preparations underway in the similarly subsiding Venice.
In any discussion of new topics, there are always people who ignore science to listen to the voices in their heads, however childish they are. Powerful forces of ignorance array against innovators. It is just a fearful over-reaction to the reality of the future.
I was talking to a friend the other day about a great website he might like. He replied, “I don’t believe in computers. Wouldn’t have one.” He also doesn’t believe in global warming. Sigh.

Posted by Dave Ebert | Report as abusive

JM, it is you who are engaging in jibberish. Trends in everything from unemployment to shopping habits are looked at over time. This gives those analyzing data an indication where things are heading(less/more;bad/better) The same is true for climate data.This is why averaging is used year to year decade to decade and so on. Look at how the stock markets move through the day or by the week. While there is up and down movement ultimately there is a trend that can be identified.

Perhaps if you were to indulge yourself by reading up a little on the “Eocene Epoch” or the “Permian Extinction”, you might find some alarming similarities to our present situation. In fact global warming is progressing with unprecedented speed. You obviously have a computer, why don’t you check out Wikipedia and the external links to universities doing the research? Don’t take my word for it.

Posted by Anubis | Report as abusive