Scientists report even less Arctic ice, even more greenhouse gas

In the wake of unprecedented summer melts, Arctic sea ice has failed to grow to its typical winter reach for the second year running. Researchers fear this signals — stop us if this sounds familiar — an irreversible amplification of the effects of climate change in the region. Dark, open water absorbs the sunlight (and heat) that bright white ice would reflect; thus, accelerated warming. “We keep looking for the ice to recover, but it isn’t,” said researcher Mark Serreze. “Coupled with recent findings … that the Greenland ice sheet may be near a tipping point, it’s pretty clear that the Arctic is starting to respond to global warming.” You think? Other cheery news: NASA reports that ozone also seems to be contributing to intensified warming in the Arctic, and NOAA reports that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere reached a record 381 parts per million last year. We can hardly wait for tomorrow!