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Archive for the ‘Arctic thaw’ Category

The Balding Arctic Sea

Posted by feww on October 6, 2010

Image of the Day

Arctic Sea Ice Minimum for 2010: Third-lowest extent

The 2010 sea ice melt season ended in the Arctic, with the ice extent reaching its low for the year at 4.60 million km² (1.78 million sq. miles) on September 19, the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) reported, adding that 2010 Arctic sea ice extent was the third-lowest on the satellite record. (The record low of 4.13 million km² was set in 2007). Both the Northwest Passage and the Northern Sea Route were open for a period during September.


Arctic sea ice extent for September 2010 was 4.90 million square kilometers (1.89 million square miles), the third-lowest in the satellite record. The magenta line shows the median ice extent for September from 1979 to 2000. Sea Ice Index data. Click images to enlarge.
—Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center


The updated time series plot puts this summer’s sea ice extent in context with other years. The solid light blue line indicates 2010; dark blue shows 2009, purple shows 2008; dashed green shows 2007; light green shows 2005; and solid gray indicates average extent from 1979 to 2000. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center


September ice extent from 1979 to 2009 shows a continued decline. The September rate of sea ice decline since 1979 has now increased to 11.2 percent per decade. —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center


A time series of images shows the decline in September sea ice extent over the thirty-year satellite record. Click on the image to open the animated time series in a new window. The animated time series shows ice extent for each of the past thirty-one Septembers, 1979 to 2010. Ice extent this fall was the third-lowest in the satellite record.  —Credit: National Snow and Ice Data Center/NASA E-O


Arctic sea ice extent on September 19, 2010.This image was made from sea ice observations collected by the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) Instrument on NASA’s Aqua Source: NASA/EO. Click image to enlarge.


Arctic sea ice total area graph. Source: NASA/EO. Click image to enlarge.

See also: October post on Arctic Sea Ice News & Analysis Web site (http://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/)

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Posted in Arctic, Arctic sea ice extent, Arctic Temperature Trend, arctic temps, Arctic thaw | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Deadly Dozen, the Dirty Dozen, the Dozen Dozen

Posted by feww on May 5, 2009

UNEP wants to add to its so-called “dirty dozen” deadly chemicals another nine highly toxic compounds

Thanks to the ‘experts,’ the chemical threats to our living environment have been ‘rationalized,’ the danger downsized, and the list of “chemicals considered potentially dangerous,” which are overtly used in industrial farming and other commercial applications, neatly itemized, first into a [dirty] dozen and then some…

Experts mull global ban on commercial chemicals

Mon May 4, 2009
By Robert Evans

GENEVA (Reuters) – Experts and officials from some 150 countries started talks on Monday on banning production of nine chemicals considered potentially dangerous but still used in farming and for other commercial purposes.

If agreement is reached at the week-long meeting, under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the nine will join a list of 12 other so-called persistent organic pollutants, or POPS, long targeted for elimination.

“The risks posed by such chemicals are profound, and these toxic substances leave chemical footprints around the globe,” said UNEP executive director Achim Steiner, who will be watching over the Geneva gathering.

The newly-targeted chemicals include products—known normally under their scientific names—that are widely used for pesticides and are also used in the manufacture of flame retardants and similar items.

The original 12 POPS—dubbed the “dirty dozen” and widely blamed for damaging human nervous systems, causing cancer and disrupting the development of young children—were listed under a 2001 international pact called the Stockholm Convention.

But as these have been removed from production lines, focus has switched to extending the banned list to other highly toxic chemicals that take many years, often decades, to degrade into less dangerous forms.

SPECIAL RISKS

Among the new ones to be considered this week are Alpha hexachlorocyclohexane, Hexabromidyphenyl ether, Chlordecone, Hexabromobiphenyl, Lindane, Pentachlorobenzene and Perfluorooctane, according to UNEP.

UNEP says these, like the “dirty dozen,” pose special risks to young people, farmers, pregnant women and the unborn, and to remote communities like those in the Arctic where Inuit women and polar bears have been found to have large POP doses in their own bodies.

The pollutant chemicals can evaporate and travel long distances through air and water to regions far from their original source and accumulate in the fatty tissues of both humans and animals.

A thaw in the Arctic linked to global warming may allow some of the chemicals, long-trapped under sea ice, to evaporate into the atmosphere and spread further around the polar region, an expert said on Monday.

Agreement at the Geneva meeting, which ends on May 8, could mark a major step toward creating a healthier and more sustainable green economy for the world, said Steiner, while lifting a health threat to millions of people.
(Editing by Jon Hemming)
© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved

Posted in Arctic thaw, breast milk, Climate Change, melting sea ice, polar region | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »