Glaciology combines the science of numerous disciplines. Deniers want to use simple observations of surface ice to support their conclusions. Unfortunately, it is not so simple. Ocean water is warming and with that the relationships of the glaciers to the earth on which they were grounded. Many are now afloat. We are not so certain what this means. What we know is that there is data to support the projection of a one meter sea level rise by 2100; and that is conservative.
Over the next three days, the three aspects of climate change outlined by Rear Admiral David Titley, USN, PhD will be discussed here. Admiral Titley is not only an accomplished Naval Officer, he is also a scientist with unchallengeable credentials and a member of a Task Force responsible for assessing the impact and threats associated with climate change. As he outlined succinctly when he addressed responding to skeptics, there are three major changes occurring that concern him most: opening of the Arctic Ocean, rising sea levels, and acidification of the oceans. This installment discusses the Arctic Ocean and Bering Strait, pretty darn near Wasilla:
The Arctic Ocean will have to be regarded as the world's largest estuary in the not too distant future. It may become a trade route, economically important, with ice free conditions for about a month each year beginning sometime around 2035 to 2040. By mid century it may be open two to three months a year. We are already seeing increased traffic and exploration. The Bering Strait may become as important as the Strait of Malacca and the Strait of Hormuz. Ignoring this aspect of climate change threatens our national survival.
Tomorrow: Rising sea levels.