Arctic Death Spiral From Fossil Fuel Mining

Local pollution in the Arctic from shipping and oil and gas industries, which have expanded in the region due to a thawing of sea ice caused by global warming, could further accelerate that thaw, experts say, reports Alister Doyle at Reuters.The United Nations Environment Program  said there was an urgent need to calculate risks of local pollutants such as soot, or “black carbon”, in the Arctic. Soot darkens ice, making it soak up more of the sun’s heat and quickening a melt. Although companies such as Shell, Exxon or Statoil say they are using the cleanest available technologies, the risks of even small amounts of pollution on the Arctic Ocean, emitted near ice with little dispersal by winds, have not been fully assessed. “There is a grim irony here that as the ice melts…humanity is going for more of the natural resources fuelling this meltdown,” said Nick Nuttall, a spokesman for the UN program. Large amounts of soot in the Arctic come from more distant sources such as forest fires or industry. “A lot of the concerns need urgent evaluation,” he added.

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Arctic sea ice thaw may be accelerated by oil, shipping

http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/09/18/us-arctic-idUSBRE88H15A20120918

See also:

Arctic death spiral

http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/19/872121/arctic-death-spiral-new-local-shipping-and-drilling-pollution-may-speed-up-polar-warming-and-ice-melting/?mobile=nc

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About melharte

Mel (Mary Ellen) Harte is a biologist (PhD) and climate change educator. She co-authored the free online book, COOL THE EARTH, SAVE THE ECONOMY, available at www.CoolTheEarth.US, and writes the CLIMATE CHANGE THIS WEEK column at the HuffingtonPost. Living summers in the alpine Rockies, she is on the frontlines of watching what climate change can do. Her diagnostic digital photographs of wildflowers have appeared in numerous publications.
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