As the climate change picture continues to worsen around the world there is more bad news out of the Arctic. A huge 19 square mile (55 square km) ice shelf in Canada's northern Arctic broke away last month and the remaining shelves have shrunk at a "massive and disturbing" rate, the latest sign of accelerating climate change in the remote region.
As anyone can find out by doing a little research, temperatures in the Arctic have rise far faster than the global average as a direct result of global warming.
Unfortunately these changes are irreversible under the present climate and indicate that the environmental conditions that have kept these ice shelves in balance for thousands of years are no longer present. The total amount of ice lost from the shelves along Ellesmere Island this summer totaled 83 square miles -- more than three times the area of Manhattan island. The figure is more than 10 times the amount of ice shelf cover that scientists estimated on July 30 would vanish from around the island this summer.
The first sign of serious recent erosion in the five shelves came in late July, when sheets of ice totaling almost eight square miles broke off the Ward Hunt shelf. Since then that shelf has lost another 8.5 square miles. Ellesmere Island was once home to a single enormous ice shelf totaling around 3,500 square miles. All that is left of that shelf today are the four much smaller shelves that together cover little more than 300 square miles.
When will we ever learn?