Yes I'm shouting - but holy crap! Arctic sea ice is at record lows in a clement summer (http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/aug/27/arctic-sea-ice-shrinks-lowest-extent) - and we're not at the end of the melt for this year!
The Arctic sea ice fell to 1.58 million square miles, or 4.10 million square kilometers, down 27,000 square miles from 2007, the lowest since satellites began measuring the ice in 1979, according to the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center. "It's a little surprising to see the 2012 Arctic sea ice extent in August dip below the record low 2007 sea ice extent in September," said Walt Meier, a scientist with the data center.A video of the extent of the melt ........
Why does this matter to us down south? http://neven1.typepad.com/blog/2012/08/wasislac.html#more
Climate change models predicted the Arctic would see ice free summers by the end of this century if we kept up burning fossil fuels . Now it looks as if we'll see that by the end of this decade. The IPCC models were CONSERVATIVE! Looks like we can't count on being safely dead before climate change bites hard unless we're 83 - today.
We'll see nastier, more unpredictable, even COLDER weather. We may be faced with more pollution - Arctic ice has trapped a lot of toxins - and as it melts, where will they go? Political tensions between Arctic countries that stupidly view the melt as an opportunity to drill for oil may increase (!!!! exclamation points for that mindset). Climate change will accelerate as permafrost melts and gives off its carbon stores and methane; increased heat is captured by open water, and the balmy, balmy warmth melts methane clathrates.
It is to be hoped lots of folks realize this is not good at all - we need to STOP burning fossil fuels. If millions of us took to the streets in non violent demonstrations, governments would pay attention.
(We sure as hell don't need the Northern Gateway pipeline! )