Arctic Sea Ice Vanishes — and the Oil Rigs Move In

This summer (2012), the sea ice caps that caps the Arctic Ocean melted to the lowest level since 1979, when satellites first started tracking the ice over the North Pole. By the end of August, the National Snow Ice and Data Center (NSIDC) reported that the Arctic ice had fallen to 1.54 million square miles. That is six times the size of Texas but it is still 45% less than the average it used to be in the 1980 and 1990s. The ice cap has been shrinking over the years due to the increase in temperature. Now some scientists belive the total volume of the Arctic ice is only a quarter of what it was 30 years ago. This shows how the ice caps have been melting faster than scientists had predicted. What is said to be the most immediate impact of climate change regarding the Arctic ice melting is the opening of new drilling territories for oil industries. According to the US Geological Survey, there are said to be more than 90 billion barrels of recoverable oil buried in the Arctic. Therefore, as climate changes, it becomes easier for oil companies to send their drilling ships to produce more oil for us to burn. As a society, we should protest this because we are melting all the ice caps and are killing habitats that live in the Arctic Sea. President Obama is working on trying to limit the drilling in the Arctic Ocean, but it is very hard to stop companies from drilling based on economic issues.

 

Marina Bryant

http://science.time.com/2012/09/11/arctic-sea-ice-vanishes-and-the-oil-rigs-move-in/

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