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Melting Arctic ice cap at record low

Posted in Science on 30th Sep, 2012 10:01 PM by AlexMuller

Think of a poor hamster on a spinning wheel, caught up by momentum and unable to stop until it’s overwhelmed, sent tumbling, crashing out of control inside.


That’s the analogy John Yackel, head of the department of geography, makes when he considers the annual summer ice melt in the Arctic, which he’s been closely monitoring for the past 15 years – documenting the ice cover as it’s steadily shrunk in the wake of Arctic and global warming.


Thoughts of imminent crashes seem particularly ominous this year as last week marked the unofficial peak, or the end of the summer ice melt, with ice levels more dramatically diminished than at any time since satellite monitoring began 33 years ago.


The previous record low for Arctic sea ice extent, set on Sept. 18, 2007 with a 4.17-million sq.-km. ice cap, was already shattered by the end of August this year when it had melted to below 4-million sq. km.


“This is the smallest minimum ice extent we’ve ever had, and not just in the satellite record, but probably in the last million years,” says Yackel, a sea ice geophysicist and climatologist.


From the patterns he has observed, this year’s extreme melt could be the beginning of a frightening trend.


Yackel and the university-based Cryosphere Climate Research Group use satellite technology to research the physical properties of Arctic ice. As recently as the 1980s, most of the ice in the Arctic Ocean was “multi-year ice,” – thick ice that would remain throughout the summer. At that time, the split between multi-year ice and seasonal ice – ice that would melt away in the summer – was about 80 per cent multi-year and 20 per cent seasonal.

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Author: Guest
Posted: 2012-12-15
Robin Bhat Posted on October 13, 2011Long Live Kishore Kumar.A poem ( To a Skylark', by Shelley) to recall his voice, whose strnais will always be one of our most cherished companions, alway with us, whenever we need him:Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!Bird thou never wert,That from heaven, or near it,Pourest thy full heartIn profuse strnais of unpremeditated art.Higher still and higherFrom the earth thou springestLike a cloud of fire;The blue deep thou wingest,And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.In the golden lightningOf the sunken sun,O'er which clouds are bright'ning,Thou dost float and run,Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.The pale purple evenMelts around thy flight;Like a star of heavenIn the broad daylightThou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight Keen as are the arrowsOf that silver sphereWhose intense lamp narrowsIn the white dawn clearUntil we hardly see -we feel that it is there.All the earth and airWith thy voice is loud,As, when night is bare,From one lonely cloudThe moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.What thou art we know not;What is most like thee?From rainbow clouds there flow notDrops so bright to seeAs from thy presence showers a rain of melody.Like a poet hiddenIn the light of thought,Singing hymns unbidden,Till the world is wroughtTo sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:Like a high-born maidenIn a palace tower,Soothing her love-ladenSoul in secret hourWith music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:Like a glow-worm goldenIn a dell of dew,Scattering unbeholdenIts aerial hueAmong the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:Like a rose emboweredIn its own green leaves,By warm winds deflowered,Till the scent it givesMakes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves:Sound of vernal showersOn the twinkling grass,Rain-awakened flowers,All that ever wasJoyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.Teach us, sprite or bird,What sweet thoughts are thine:I have never heardPraise of love or wineThat panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.Chorus hymenealOr triumphal chauntMatched with thine would be allBut an empty vaunt A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.What objects are the fountainsOf thy happy strain?What fields, or waves, or mountains?What shapes of sky or plain?What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?With thy clear keen joyanceLanguor cannot be:Shadow of annoyanceNever came near thee:Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.Waking or asleep,Thou of death must deemThings more true and deepThan we mortals dream,Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?We look before and after,And pine for what is not:Our sincerest laughterWith some pain is fraught;Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.Yet if we could scornHate, and pride, and fear;If we were things bornNot to shed a tear,I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.Better than all measuresOf delightful sound,Better than all treasuresThat in books are found,Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!Teach me half the gladnessThat thy brain must know,Such harmonious madnessFrom my lips would flowThe world should listen then, as I am listening now! Reply


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