Arctic sea ice is on track to recede to a record low this year, suggesting that northern waters free of summer ice are coming faster than anyone thought. One of Canada's top sea-ice experts suggests things might even be worse than Dr. Serreze thinks. His data could be underestimating the collapse of summer ice cover, said David Barber of the University of Manitoba. Researchers can't learn anything from satellite data about the state or thickness of the ice. “What we think is thick multiyear ice late in the summer is in fact not,” he said. “It's heavily decayed first-year ice. When that stuff starts to reform in the fall, we think it's multiyear ice, but it's not.” Arctic explorers and scientific expeditions are finding more open water and untrustworthy ice ever, Prof. Barber said. He pointed out the Arctic continued to lose multiyear ice even in 2008 and 2009, when total ice coverage rebounded somewhat. True multiyear ice – the thick, hard stuff that stops ships – now comprises about 18 per cent of the Arctic ice pack. In 1981, when Prof. Barber first went north, that figure was 90 per cent.You know, I would love it if the Climate Change Deniers were correct and this weren't really happening.
But we have to cope with reality - not with the life our imaginary friends have.