Precinct 333

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Ice Cap Melt Part Of A Cycle?

We keep hearing folks rant on about global warming. Those who suggest that it might be a normal phenomenon are dismissed as loons. But then again, could it really be a cyclical process?

The melting of sea ice at the North Pole may be the result of a centuries-old natural cycle and not an indicator of man-made global warming, Scottish scientists have found.

After researching the log-books of Arctic explorers spanning the past 300 years, scientists believe that the outer edge of sea ice may expand and contract over regular periods of 60 to 80 years. This change corresponds roughly with known cyclical changes in atmospheric temperature.

The finding opens the possibility that the recent worrying changes in Arctic sea ice are simply the result of standard cyclical movements, and not a harbinger of major climate change.

The amount of sea ice is currently near its lowest point in the cycle and should begin to increase within about five years.

As a result, Dr Chad Dick, a Scottish scientist working at the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromso, believes the next five to ten years will be a critical period in our understanding of sea ice and the impact, if any, of long-term global warming.

The article is fascinating, with lots of good historical observations and explanations of what could happen if mankind has disrupted the cycle.


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