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Incredible Ice Melt

Glaciers are melting in the Arctic and everywhere else, and now a huge ice sheet in Canada is melting as well. The level of the Mediterranean ocean is rising rapidly. Soon this will be common news, all over the world and it's already affecting the weather right here in the US.

In LiveScience.com, Jeanna Bryner reports that ice fields on Baffin Island in the Arctic have shrunk 50% percent in the past 50 years and will be gone in 50 more. Baffin is the fifth largest island in the world, larger than California, and some the ice fields there formed in pre-Medieval times and have lasted until now. Bryner quotes researcher Gifford Miller as saying, "That tells us right there that the warming of the 20th century is the warmest sustained period of warming in that time. It clearly says we're now warmer than we were in Medieval times. The general trend has been cooling for the past ten thousand years. The fact that they are now receding like mad just makes it even more unusual because the large-scale forcing, how much energy comes in from the sun during the summer months, is getting less and less."

In Canada, there is a massive crack in the Beaufort Sea ice pack, which is off the west coast of Banks Island in the Northwest Territories. This could lead to massive flooding in nearby coastal areas. CBC News quotes researcher David Barber as saying, "We're starting to think this is what the future's going to look like?It's been an extremely interesting year but kind of depressing. It?s interesting in a bad way."

Art credit: NOAA

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