August 1, 2013
In an article published on July 24th, The Guardian discusses the accelerated melting of Arctic sea ice. The article is in response to a recent scientific report examining the imminent economic catastrophes of the sea ice phenomenon.
The study focuses specifically on the dangerous release of methane from melting permafrost. Methane, which is approximately 25x more powerful at trapping heat in the Earth’s atmosphere than carbon dioxide, would be disastrous if released at all, and “could come with a $60tn global price tag” if released in a giant “pulse.”
The article explains that economists aren’t taking climate change ramifications seriously, though melting sea ice alone could completely “undermined the global financial system.” Furthermore, “much of those costs would be borne by developing countries in the form of extreme weather, flooding and impacts on health and agricultural production.”
In 2012, Arctic ice covered only 40% of the area it did in the 1970s. Shockingly, “some scientists expect the Arctic Ocean to be largely free of summer ice by 2020.”
Are you interested in learning more about the plight of the Arctic? Subhankar Banerjee’s book Arctic Voice: Resistance at the Tipping Point brings together first-person narratives from more than thirty prominent activists, writers, and researchers who address issues of climate change, resource war, and human rights with stunning urgency and groundbreaking research. Arctic Voices will be released in paperback on August 20, with a new introduction by Dr. James Hansen, director of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies and author of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity.