Tag: Arctic

Next Big Oil Spill Disaster Set for the Arctic

Shell Oil is on its way right now to a location less than 15 miles from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. “Shell has proposed drilling up to four shallow water exploration wells in Alaska’s Beaufort Sea this summer, beginning on July 1,” Subsea World News reported last month.

The potential harm from a BP-scale spill is almost beyond comprehension,” David Yarnold, president of the National Audubon Society wrote at the Huffington Post.

If there is a spot on Earth as sacred or as critical to the future of our wild birds as the Gulf of Mexico, it is probably the unspoiled Arctic. Here, hundreds of bird species arrive every spring from all four North American flyways — the superhighways in the sky that birds use to travel up and down the Americas. Here, they mate, lay eggs and raise their young. Here also, many of America’s remaining polar bears make their winter dens along the coasts.

Siri wrote earlier today on Daily Kos on how the BP-spill in 2010 has caused unprecedented mutations and deformities in ocean life in Gulf of Mexico. Today, I’ll look at how our government and Big Oil are setting the stage in the Arctic for the sequel to Deepwater Horizon disaster. The script is already written and the leading actors are already on their way to the set.  

Alaska Walruses Without Ice

“an unusual gathering on a barrier island in Alaska. ”  They’d normally be out on the floating ice after foraging, but there is no ice this year near their feeding grounds.  Arctic sea ice is at the 3rd lowest point in recorded history.

Walruses Swarm Beaches as Ice Melts

National Geographic


Biologists with the USGS say the situation can be very dangerous because walruses are easily startled, and can stampede. Some walruses, particularly calves and juveniles, can get crushed to death by larger walruses moving about.

US Military Releases Devastating Arctic Global Warming Satellite Images

UK Guardian – The Observer, Sunday 26 July 2009

Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide:

Photos from US spy satellites declassified by the Obama White House provide the first graphic images of how the polar ice sheets are retreating in the summer. The effects on the world’s weather, environments and wildlife could be devastating

Satellite images of polar ice sheets

Satellite images of polar ice sheets taken in July 2006 and July 2007 showing the retreating ice during the summer.

View image full size (opens new window)

Arctic Icecap Gone Within 30 Years

Crossposted from Antemedius

For years as the planet warms the arctic icecap has been melting and retreating.

Many of us have long known that arctic wildlife like polar bears, gray whales, killer whales, narwhals, seals, and arctic fish and bird populations, as well as arctic coastal human settlements, are in danger of eventual extinction as their natural habitat has been retreating, but what most of us haven’t known is the extent and speed of the retreat.

Because of recent ice loss, Arctic surface air temperatures are warmer than normal, and much warmer than scientists expected to find.

As the ice has been melting the growing spans of open water absorb more sunlight than the ice previously did, so as more open water becomes uncovered, the remaining ice will melt more quickly. This will itself accelerate the rate of warming and lead to more ice loss. In addition, global climate change is likely to drive warmer ocean currents into the Arctic region.

You get the picture. What has developed is a positive feedback loop with dramatic implications for the entire Arctic, and for the rest of the planet, and for all life on Earth. It’s been nice knowing you.

The shrinkage of the Arctic ice cap is viewed with much alarm by climate researchers and scientists, as it appears to perturb important ocean currents elsewhere, notably the Gulf Stream, which gives western Europe its balmy climate.

Now a new report by scientists Muyin Wang of the Joint Institute for the Study of Atmosphere and Ocean and James E. Overland of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, is published in todays edition of the American Geophysical Union’s journal Geophysical Research Letters, forecasting nearly complete icecap loss by 2037:


First, I support A Siegel for his many articles on energy issues — Get Energy Smart! NOW!!! and his article Whitehouse Drills Drilling has prompted this from me.  (Well, to be honest, it’s been on my mind a lot as it is, anyway!)


THE very most important issue facing us right NOW is global warming — it concerns the survival of the universe, itself!

We need more (Sen. Sheldon) Whitehouses who would state emphatically

. . . do any of you seriously contend that drilling for more oil is the number one issue facing the American people today?

As we know, WE have the technology right now to turn our energy consumption into other alternatives, windmills, solar panels, alcohol (derived from numerous non-edible sources, such as sugar beets, hemp, cattails*, etc.) for use as fuel for our motor driven vehicles.  It’s clean and efficient.  *Cattails also can serve as a “filter” to prevent “dead zones” in our waters.

From North to South, The Whole Damn World is Melting

The data just keep pouring in (quite literally,) on ice-melting around the world.

Most people have focused their attention on Arctic sea-ice melt, but the heating of the water and the air that is driving the breakup of Arctic ice shelves is also taking down all of the regions ice sheets as well. Similarly, increased melt rates have been noted in Greenland and Antarctica, while mountain glaciers are also losing mass at unprecedented rates.  See chart below:

glacier mass balance

There can be no doubt that we are now past the tipping point for ice melt worldwide.

Climate Disintegration is a Human Rights Issue

This is an attempt, by using the Eight Stages of Genocide by Gregory H. Stanton, to show how climate change is a human rights issue in our own backyard.

Arctic Is New Gold Rush, Ignoring Inuit Is Not New (Photo Edited)

…but the Arctic is the scene for a new kind of international gold rush…

Arctic a potential conflict zone, Europe warned

BRUSSELS, Belgium – European Union leaders will receive a stark warning next week of potential conflict with Russia over energy resources at the North Pole as global warning melts the ice cap and aggravates international security threats.

See video

“Mapping Claims to the Spoils of Global Warming”

If you read some newspapers, you’ll find global warming is good for business. No, strike that. Global warming is GREAT for business. This is how the “science” journal at the Wall Street Journal enthusiastically describes what Global Warming means to its readers.

Icebreaker HealyResearchers aboard the U.S. Coast Guard icebreaker Healy are mapping claims to the spoils of global warming.

North of Alaska, the 23 scientists of the Healy are gathering the data legally required to extend national territories across vast reaches of the mineral-rich seafloor usually blocked by Arctic ice. Fathom by fathom, multibeam sonar sensors mounted on the Healy’s hull chart a submerged plateau called the Chukchi Cap, in a region that may contain 25% of the world’s reserves of oil and natural gas.

In an era of climate change, these frozen assets are up for grabs, as melting ice allows detailed mapping and, one day perhaps, drilling.

The faster the ice goes, the sooner the oil flows. And vice versa. The faster we burn oil, the sooner the ice goes. Where there’s oil, there’s money to be made. The stunning, accelerating loss of the polar ice cap merely opens up the Arctic for oil and gas exploitation. If the polar bears go extinct along the way, then sobeit — no cost to doing business.