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Why Arctic sea ice melting matters

The shrinking and receding sea ice has dire consequences The shrinking and receding sea ice has dire consequences. First, as the white ice that normally reflects sunlight away from Earth melts, more of the dark open water of the Arctic Ocean is is exposed, absorbing heat and causing more ice to melt. This is a positive feedback loop where ice melt causes more ice to melt. Second, distinctive Arctic species such as the polar bear, walrus and ice seals depend on the sea ice; they cannot survive without it, so as the sea ice shrinks and thins, these animals' continued existence is jeopardized, as are the Arctic peoples whose cultures and ways of life have depended on the animals and the ice for millenia.

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Canada’ s Arctic Nearly Loses Entire Ice Shelf

Rapid Loss This Summer Blamed On Global Warming Two ice shelves that existed before Canada was settled by Europeans diminished significantly this summer, one nearly disappearing altogether, Canadian scientists say in newly published research.The loss is important as a marker of global warming, returning the Canadian Arctic to conditions that date back thousands of years, scientists say.Floating icebergs that have broken free as a result pose a risk to offshore oil facilities and potentially to shipping lanes. The breaking apart of the ice shelves also reduces the environment that supports microbial life and changes the look of Canada's coastline.Luke Copland is an associate professor in the geography department at the University of Ottawa who co-authored the research published on Carleton University's website. He said the Serson Ice Shelf shrank from 79.15 square miles (205 square kilometres) to two remnant sections five years ago, and was further diminished this past summer.Copland said the shelf went from a 16-square-mile (42-square-kilometre) floating glacier tongue to 9.65 square miles (25 square kilometres), and the second section from 13.51 square miles (35 square kilometres) to 2 square miles (7 square kilometres), off Ellesmere Island's northern coastline. This past summer, Ward Hunt Ice Shelf's central area ...

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Arctic sea ice volume drops to record low last year

Researchers created a model that predicts ice thickness across the Arctic Ocean A new study suggests that the 2007 record for the lowest volume of Arctic sea ice in the summertime was broken last year.Using observations of winds, ocean and air temperatures, researchers from the Polar Science Center of the University of Washington created a model that predicts ice thickness across the Arctic Ocean, explains The Telegraph.According to the research team, led by Axel Schweiger, "ice volume is now plunging faster than it did at the same time last year when the record was set," reports Zee News. Their results will be published in a forthcoming issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research, Oceans.The research model was checked against real observations of ice thickness in the Arctic, but is still only a prediction. "The approach has some detractors because it is modelling rather than direct observations of thickness, and therefore contains some uncertainty," wrote The Telegraph.The records for the amount of sea ice are based on a volume calculated from area and thickness of the ice. Determining the sea ice's thickness requires either numerous observations or modeling, but measuring ice area is much easier.Using satellites, scientists have found that the ...

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Malaysia proposes sharing economic activities in South China Sea

Sharing the exploration of the natural resources Malaysia has proposed the setting up of a special purpose vehicle for the sharing of economic activities among the claimant countries in the South China Sea.Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had suggested that the countries concerned create multilateral discussions rather than bilateral talks."If we may translate the suggestion, we would like to explore the natural resources, in particular hydro carbon, to be shared among the claimant countries."A special purpose vehicle can be created to share not only in terms of equity participation but also in terms of sharing the exploration of the natural resources," he said at the question-and-answer session on the final day of the 10th IISS Asia Security Summit - The Shangri-La Dialogue, here, Sunday.Brunei, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Taiwan and Vietnam all have a stake on the Spratly Islands in the South China Sea. Of these countries, only Brunei lacks a military presence in the area.Dr Ahmad Zahid said: "Our key performance index is not based on how many wars we are going to win but how many wars or crises we are going to avoid."So our role is ...

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