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Getting Warmer, Sea Ice Lessens by City-Tech Blogger Keng Wai Lam

This article on Climate Central is about sea ice growth. It is saying that warm air limits the growth of sea ice. According to the article, repeated warm air incursions have kept “sea ice area at record low levels for much of the freeze season, and have even contributed to an exceptional cold season retreat.”

“Right now, sea ice levels are at record levels for January, following a record low average in November and a second place finish in December. But whether the bouts of warm air will continue through the remainder of the winter isn’t clear” Julienne Stroeve of the U.S. National Snow & Ice Data Center said.

I think it’s expected to see these kinds of conditions over and over since we have seen that there are not many days below 32°F in New York City this winter.

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2 Responses

  1. There’s no denying that global warming is real, however, I think the problem lies with how the message is communicated to others. For example, when researchers say that the average global temperature has increased by 2 degrees, they know how unusual or out of place that is. Now say the same thing to the general population and what they will think is that it’s such a minor increase compared to everyday temperatures so what is all the fuss about. Perhaps better relay of the dire situation in simpler to understand terms could get more of the population to comprehend and join the fight.

    1. You raise an important issue: how can the scientific community better communicate with the general public? Almost all climate scientists agree that the earth’s climate is changing, and that mankind is largely responsible for it, mostly by emitting large quantities of carbon dioxide, produced by burning fossil fuels (coal, oil, gasoline, and liquefied natural gas) and of methane, produced by cattle raised for human consumption. Despite this consensus among scientists, many people aren’t convinced that the climate is changing or that we’re causing it by the cars we drive, the houses we heat, the lights and appliances we run, the meat we eat. Climate scientists and those in the general public who are convinced, need to communicate better with those who aren’t.
      In a way, it’s the old climate/weather conundrum. Scientists focus on long term trends, the general public on short term events. So what if the morning temperature is a couple of degrees warmer. Warmer than what? Yesterday? Last year? People think ‘Nice, I can wear my Spring jacket.’ But when the crocuses start blooming in February, everyone takes notice. Is it something to be alarmed about? No. But people are aware that the weather is changing. Winters are milder. Springs come earlier. You see your first robin weeks before you used to. Do you worry? No. But you also notice that storms are more frequent and more severe. The hundred-year storm starts happening every few years. The creek down back or the river through town floods again, worse than ever. The beach erodes – again, and again. Longer and longer dry spells turn into droughts, and are followed, finally, by torrential rain that just doesn’t stop, and causes floods and mudslides, forcing evacuations, property losses, and deaths. All are weather events, but collectively, over time, they are climate. They are indicators that the climate is changing, forcing us to accommodate and adapt, and start to take steps to slow it all down or even stop the changes. ‘How do we do that? Start by talking about climate change with friends, family, everyone. Get people aware of it, thinking about it, doing something personal about it. Get active! Get #engaged! In the end, we all have to become climate activists.
      George Ropes

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