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ArtikelBeating a Retreat; Climate Change in Arctic  
Oleh: [s.n]
Jenis: Article from Bulletin/Magazine
Dalam koleksi: The Economist ( vol. 400 no. 8752 (Sep. 2011), page 97-98.
Topik: Climate Change; Global Warming; Ice; Regions; Emissions Control
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    • Nomor Panggil: EE29.68
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Isi artikelThere is probably less ice floating on the Arctic Ocean now than at any time since a particularly warm period 8,000 years ago, soon after the last ice age. That Arctic sea ice is disappearing has been known for decades. The underlying cause is believed by all but a handful of climatologists to be global warming brought about by greenhouse-gas emissions. Yet the rate the ice is vanishing confounds these climatologists' models. These predict that if the level of carbon dioxide, methane and so on in the atmosphere continues to rise, then the Arctic Ocean will be free of floating summer ice by the end of the century. At current rates of shrinkage, by contrast, this looks likely to happen some time between 2020 and 2050. The reason is that Arctic air is warming twice as fast as the atmosphere as a whole. Formerly a solid mass that melted and refroze at its edges, the ice is now thinner, more fractured, and so more liable to melt. Reducing soot (and also ozone, an industrial pollutant that acts as a greenhouse gas) would not stop the summer sea ice disappearing, but it might delay the process by a decade or two. Without corresponding measures to cut CO2 emissions, this would be but a temporary fix. A warming Arctic will bring local benefits to some. The rest of the world may pay the cost.
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