Before church yesterday, one of my dear friends shared some great news with me.
“I heard that Arctic sea ice is up 98 percent! Is that right? It’s actually growing!” he told me in a moment of sincere friendly encouragement. Who knows, maybe the efforts of people like me were beginning to pay off!
I was doubtful. I knew this year’s summer melt wasn’t as bad as last year’s catastrophe. The summer ice retreat of 2012 demolished every prior record for Arctic ice melting by miles – more than a quarter million square miles, actually. Compared to the prior record melt in 2007, it was as though we had destroyed a chunk of sea ice big enough to cover the states of Texas and West Virginia combined. 2012 was absolutely awful, capping a 30-year death spiral for Arctic sea ice.
Worse yet, it showed how climate models often err on the conservative side. The U.N. climate panel’s most recent report had projected that we’d reach last year’s level of Arctic melt sometime between 2044 and 2064. We were frighteningly ahead of schedule.
So you can imagine my doubts. In one year, the problem is solved? No more Arctic melting worries? I thought I’d better check.