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German researchers have revealed that the area covered by Arctic sea ice has reached it lowest point

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sce56 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 07:58 PM
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German researchers have revealed that the area covered by Arctic sea ice has reached it lowest point
since the start of satellite observations in 1972

"On September 8, the extent of the Arctic sea ice was 4.240 million square kilometres (1.637 million square miles). This is a new historic minimum," said Georg Heygster, head of the Physical Analysis of Remote Sensing Images unit at the University of Bremen's Institute of Environmental Physics. The new mark is about half-a-percent under his team's measurements of the previous record, which occurred on September 16, 2007, he said. According to the US National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC), the record set on that date was 4.1 million sq km (1.6 sq mi). The discrepancy, Heygster explained by phone, was due to slightly different data sets and algorithms.

"But the results are internally consistent in both cases," he said, adding that he expected the NSIDC to come to the same conclusion in the coming days. Arctic ice cover plays a critical role in regulating Earth's climate by reflecting sunlight and keeping the polar region cool. Retreating summer sea ice -- 50 percent smaller in area than four decades ago -- is described by scientists as both a measure and a driver of global warming, with negative impacts on a local and planetary scale. It is also further evidence of a strong human imprint on climate patterns in recent decades, the researchers said.

"The sea ice retreat can no more be explained with the natural variability from one year to the next, caused by weather influence," Heygster said in an statement released by the university. "Climate models show, rather, that the reduction is related to the man-made global warming which, due to the albedo effect, is particularly pronounced in the Arctic." Albedo increases when an area once covered by reflective snow or ice -- which bounces 80 percent of the Sun's radiative force back into space -- is replaced by deep blue sea, which absorbs the heat instead. Temperatures in the Arctic region have risen more than twice as fast as the global average over the last half century.

The ice was so gone this year even a single handed sail boat went solo through the northwest passage this summer. /

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abelenkpe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 08:04 PM
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1. great article but man the comments attached are so depressing
crazy climate change deniers....
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midnight Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-12-11 11:50 PM
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2. For those who understand the meaning of all this stuff, I'm grateful...
Edited on Mon Sep-12-11 11:50 PM by midnight
for those of us that understand that it is causing hardships, and destruction. Hillary Clinton should not entertain the Koch pipeline up into Canada...

"In a further, political wrinkle, the Koch brothers are poised to reap big profits if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved. The Koch brothers have been accused of waging a war against Obama. They have financed the Tea Party movement, climate change skepticism and right-wing think tanks, such as the Cato Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the National Center for Policy Analysis. BTW, Rich Mitchell at CDN sarcasticlly had this to say about Obama and the Koch brothers: Oh Mr. Collinson (which would be such a great name if your first name was Collin), you cant blame Libya on Obama, clearly the Koch brothers, Bush, or George Washington are to blame. And from a CDN press release we learn, Chief among those who are pushing conservatives in Congress to drop their support for the NAT GAS Act are the Koch brothers. Charles Koch has been loudly vocalizing his opposition to the misguided suggestion that the natural-gas industry should receive enormous new subsidies. /

"Koch Pipeline Company, L.P. received final shareholder approval to build a 20-inch crude oil pipeline between Pettus and Corpus Christi, Texas to move Eagle Ford production. The line, which is nearing permit and right-of-way acquisition conclusion, is expected to be complete next summer.

With this line, Koch Pipeline ultimately will have the capability to move 250,000 barrels-per-day of Eagle Ford production from the Karnes County area to the Corpus Christi-area, said Kim Penner, Koch Pipeline president.

The lines completion will coincide with the updates to affiliate Flint Hills Resources Ingleside, Texas terminal that will have the capacity to ship up to 200,000 barrels per day of production via barge to other Gulf Coast markets.

With this new pipeline, and the other investments Koch Pipeline has made in terminals, lines and lease agreements with other companies, the company will have increased transportation capability into Corpus Christi and Ingleside to more than 350,000 barrels per day."

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