Frosty could be out of luck

In recent years, summer sea ice has shrunk to a shadow of what it was

In your editorial Walking on thin ice (News Sept. 14), you note that “Arctic sea ice cover melted to its lowest since 1979 last month.”

While true, this lone data point fails to convey the magnitude or rapidity of the disappearance of the Arctic’s sea ice. The year 1979 is simply the date when comprehensive satellite observations began, not an otherwise remarkable year. By contrast, studies such as Kinnard et al. (2011) conclude that the warming and sea ice retreat of the last few decades are “unprecedented” as far back as data can be (for now) reliably determined – almost one-and-a-half millennia.

In recent years, summer sea ice has shrunk to a shadow of what it was throughout the history of modern civilization. The current record low volume is just 25 per cent of the amount which persisted into the 1980s — a loss of some 10 trillion cubic metres of ice.

Remember the old TV special in which Frosty the Snowman had to live at the North Pole each summer because only there could he avoid melting? That was always a magical fantasy; now we’re making it impossible too.

Chris Darroch

Oak Bay

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Tenessa Nikirk found guilty in Saanich crash involving Leila Bui

Nikirk was charged with one count of dangerous driving causing bodily harm

West Shore RCMP arrest man attempting to break into Colwood homes naked

Suspect entered one home, broke two front door glass panels

Oak Bay man refuses to stop drinking beer, gets $230 ticket

‘An expensive lesson,’ says Deputy Chief

John Lennon’s psychedelic Rolls-Royce on display at Victoria’s Royal BC Museum

The classic car has been a favourite for Beatles fans from Victoria and internationally

Greater Victoria man killed in Alberta accident was expectant father

Geordie Murray described as ‘wonderful husband, brother son and friend’

VIDEO: Music stars pay tribute to Kobe Bryant at Grammys award show

Music artists including Billy Ray Cyrus, Rick Ross and Kirk Franklin paid tribute to Bryant

Coastal GasLink stresses pipeline ‘on a schedule’ as B.C. appoints liaison for Wet’suwet’en

670-kilometre pipeline is schedule to be completed by end of 2023

Furstenau flays NDP as she launches B.C. Green Party leadership bid

LNG, Site C dam wrong for environment, Cowichan MLA says

Pregnant B.C. woman stuck in Wuhan, the epicentre of coronavirus outbreak

Woman is due to give birth in Wuhan, China unless she can get out

Ontario confirms second presumptive coronavirus case in wife of first patient

Both arrived on a China Southern Airlines flight after having been to Wuhan

Canada’s basketball community mourns Kobe Bryant after helicopter crash

Bryant was an 18-time NBA all-star who won five championships

‘Devastated’: Fans, celebrities remember Kobe Bryant after his death

Bryant played all of his 20-year career with the NBA with the Los Angeles Lakers

Investigation launched after six dead puppies dumped in Richmond hotel parking lot

RAPS reminds people they can always give up puppies they can’t take care of

Canadian Lunar New Year celebrations dampened by coronavirus worries

But Health Minister Patty Hajdu said today that the risk of infection is low

Most Read