News Stories

The North Pole is Melting

On Saturday, August 19, 2000, the New York Times reported that the North Pole is melting. "The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole has turned to water, recent visitors there reported yesterday." For the first time in fifty million years, there is open water at the very top of the world. "It was totally unexepcted," said oceanographer Dr. James McCarthy, the co-leader of a group working for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate change. Dr. McCarthy was a lecturer aboard a Russian icebreaker that takes tourists to the North Pole during the summer, normally breaking through six to nine feet of ice. For the first time in the ten years the ship has been making the voyage, according to the captain, it has encountered water instead of ice at the North Pole.

Ivory gulls were observed flying over the North Pole, the first time ornithologists have ever observed these birds so far north.

This means that fresh water is now flooding the whole northern ocean, at a time when winds in the area have been particularly strong. This will contribute to unusual warming of the waters, and could lead to the breakdown of the North Atlantic Current predicted in The Coming Global Superstorm.

As the warnings in the book were ignored by science and scorned by the media, no effort whatsoever has been made to evaluate the strength of the current. The only way to tell if it is shifting is to continue to evaluate weather patterns, and at present there is no evidence of the kinds of radical differences in air temperature that would occur if this event happens again.

It should be remembered that analysis of cores from the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps conclusively proved that this did occur during the last global warming event, which culminated in approximately 10,000 B.C. At that time, there was a very acute temperature spike in the Arctic just before the event took place. So far, arctic temperatures have risen an average of about 5 degrees over the last century. The spike, an arctic "heat wave" would take north pole temperatures up into the seventies for a period of weeks, and cause generalized melt of the ice cap.

What has been observed this week could either mark the beginning of such a spike or could be transient.

If this happens, the chance that the current will cease to flow as far north as it does now will increase dramatically. Should the current shift to a more southerly flow, the climate will change in an unpredicable and possibly violent manner.

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