Yes Arctic Sea ice is at record lows never seen before.
Yes the experts have been wrong about how fast would Global Warming happen every year since I was in High School and their projections are always getting updated and worse. But take a look at this newest Prediction.
Peter Wadhams, who leads the Polar Ocean Physics Group at the University of Cambridge, has predicted since 2008 that the Arctic ice could be gone in summer by 2015. He now believes there’s a chance that it could happen even sooner.
If the North Pole Melts completely water absorbs more than 90% of the sun’s heat ice however reflects 80-90% of the sun’s heat. During the summer the North Pole gets several weeks of 24 hour daylight this will increase global warming.
In June, the Arctic ice cap covers around 2% of the Earth’s surface – around 11 million square kilometers of Arctic ice cap out of a total of 510 million square kilometers of Earth’s land and oceans. And that 2% of the Earth’s surface, for a period of roughly two months, receives more solar energy per day than even the sunniest areas on the equator.
Analyzing this, Peter Wadhams of the Global Oceans Physics Program at Cambridge calculates that the loss of the Arctic ice throughout the summer would have a warming effect roughly equivalent to all human activity to date. That is to say, with the ice gone in summer, the planet would have an additional heating effect just as large as the heating effect of all human CO2 and other greenhouse gasses to date.
The sea bed beneath the shallower parts of the Arctic Ocean holds anywhere up to another 10 trillion tons of carbon trapped in a semi-frozen state called methane hydrates.
By contrast, all human CO2 emissions over the last century amount to only 1.1 trillion tons of carbon. The permafrost carbon, alone, could exceed the effect of all human burning of fossil fuels. The Arctic Sea bed deposits are close to ten times all carbon humans have released. What’s worse is that much of that carbon will end up released as methane (CH4) instead of carbon dioxide (CO2).
A molecule of methane absorbs traps roughly a hundred times as much heat as a molecule of carbon dioxide. Fortunately, methane degrades quickly in the atmosphere, lasting on average for around 10 years before being converted into CO2, which can last for a hundred years or more. Even so, over the course of a century, a molecule of methane released today will have 25 to 30 times the heating impact of a molecule of CO2 released today.
If even 10% of the northern permafrost’s buried carbon were released as methane, it would have a heating effect over the next decade equivalent to ten times all human greenhouse emissions to date, and over the next century equivalent to roughly four times all human greenhouse emissions to date.
If the North Pole is ice free in the summer then the frozen methane on the ocean’s floor that is already melting will start melting at a faster rate pretty soon we maybe asking if Global Warming continues will the earth be to hot for humans in 100 years.