Thursday 20 September 2012

Science & Environment: How Bad Is The Melting?

Who did this to the skinny polar bear?
Image from ginisnaturenews

Today, as I was finding news to read, I found something so shocking that I immediately want to share with you all.

Do you remember the movie An Inconvenient Truth by Al Gore? I recommended the movie in March 2009 and it was one horror movie indeed. If you don't remember, here's a recap.

But what you are about to see is even more scary than the Al Gore's movie that you may not want to believe it is real.

Here's the caption of the YouTube video you are about to watch:

The sea ice in the Arctic Ocean dropped below the previous all-time record set in 2007. 

This year also marks the first time that there has been less than 4 million square kilometers (1.54 million square miles) of sea ice since satellite observations began in 1979. 

This animation shows the 2012 time-series of ice extent using sea ice concentration data from the DMSP SSMI/S satellite sensor. The black area represents the daily average (median) sea ice extent over the 1979-2000 time period. Layered over top of that are the daily satellite measurements from January 1 -- September 14, 2012. 

A rapid melt begins in July, whereby the 2012 ice extents fall far below the historical average. The National Snow and Ice Data Center ( will confirm the final minimum ice extent data and area once the melt stabilizes, usually in mid-September.

At 0:20 sec point as the animation moves from Jun to Jul, you can see how seriously the ice has melted in just 3 months!! Is this real or is it just a scam?

BBC News Science Editor David Shukman went to Ny-Alesund research base in Svalbard, off the shore of Norway to take a closer look at the situation and posted his article on the 7 Sep 2012. And this is what he saw...

Looking at the images below going back in time and you will see how small the Arctic summer ice is this year compared to the previous years as well as the average back in 1979.

The key message in the article is as follows:

"As a scientist, I know that this is unprecedented in at least as much as 1,500 years. It is truly amazing - it is a huge dramatic change in the system," Dr Hansen said.

"This is not some short-lived phenomenon - this is an ongoing trend. You lose more and more ice and it is accelerating - you can just look at the graphs, the observations, and you can see what's happening."

After reading all these, I was overwhelmed by the vast scale of damage that an invisible gas (CO2) can do to our planet. From now on, we should all quickly and critically think about our actions and actively participate in minimising carbon emission.

If everyone plays a part, the world can really be saved.

If you must  use air-con at night, keep it at 25 degree Celsius, switch to the best power-saving air-conditioner if yours has aged.

Use less plastic products and recycle them when their mission is accomplished.

Or even, grow more plants at home if space is allowed.
Clockwise from foreground (Osmanthus, Grapefruit, Chinese bamboo, Ginger, Money tree, Longan)
Image from Locky's English Playground

Save Power, Save the World


scam -- (n)[C] informal an illegal plan for making money
unprecedented -- (adj) never having happened or existed in the past
phenomenon -- (n)(plural phenomena) something that exists and can be seen, felt, tasted, etc., especially something which is unusual or interesting
accelerate -- (vb) [I or T] to happen or make something happen sooner or faster
overwhelm  -- (vb) [T usually passive] to cause someone to feel sudden strong emotion
mission  -- (n)  something that you say when you have finished doing something that you were told to do 


An Inconvenient Truth (4/10) Movie CLIP - Glaciers (2006) HD @ YouTube

Movie: An Inconvenient Truth @ Locky's English Playground

The Arctic's Record Breaking Ice Melt @ YouTube
Arctic ice melting at 'amazing' speed, scientists find @ BBC News

Arctic ice melting at 'amazing' speed, scientists find @ YouTube