Saturday, April 7, 2012

Why Does Climate Change in Alaska Matter If You Don't Live Here?

Why do the climate changes in  matter to you if you live in Florida or Texas? Meterologists used to refer to the Arctic region as the "Weather Factory" for the Earth. If climate change is happening here, you get it too. Noticed any weird weather lately? You can figure it probably started in Alaska or a little north of here. 

I would like to share more examples of climate change happening in Alaska. One of the big ones is that our ice is melting. So is the ice at the North Pole. We are going to have a kind of reverse snowball effect with ice melting at the North Pole. This because of something called, "albedo". Here is an official definition from the site provided below:
"Fraction of sunlight reflected by the Earth's land surface Albedo the ratio of reflected light to incoming light. The higher the albedo, the greater the reflection and lower the absorption of a surface.
Note that no data are available for ocean areas or the polar areas indicated by white."

This matters because white (snow and ice) reflects sunlight more than dark things (dirt and rocks). When snow and ice melt and uncover the dirt and rocks underneath, the dirt and rocks absorb sunlight instead of reflecting it. This makes things warm up even more, causing more snow and ice to melt and that exposes more dirt and rocks....

Scientists expect a path free of ice and snow to reach all the way to the North Pole in a few years. Even more fun, they expect to have to whole area clear by around 2050. World governments are so sure this will happen they are already fighting over the mineral rights around the North Pole. 

If your politicians (a certain ex-governor of Alaska not excepted,) are reassuring you that you do not need to bother yourself (or them,) about climate change, check to see if they are lying. I believe some old advice applies, "Watch politicians' lips to see whether they are lying. If their lips are moving, they are lying."

There is not nearly enough media coverage of the jockeying of different nations to claim the land and mineral rights at the North Pole. It is highly relevant to every human alive on the planet Earth. It is also highly entertaining. I read some interesting/entertaining information about how both the United States and Canada are staking claim to the northern passage between the Atlantic and the Pacific. There is too much to fit into this post about the claims on the northern passage by the USA and Canada, but I think some people already know how important this is, so I plan to post about it.

Below is a link to a site about the ice at the Arctic North Pole area. If you hate clicking on links, just use a search engine. There are lots of sites about ice thinning in the polar areas. The one with a link just has nice pictures.

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