Global temperatures are warming and Arctic ice is melting as it does about every 100,000 years. But this time something is going horribly wrong.
The Natural Pattern of Global Warming and Cooling
The earth’s orbit around the sun changes, on a cycle lasting about 100,000 years, from nearly circular to highly elliptical. You can visualize this phenomenon in the image below (not to scale).
Our planet is currently
following an orbit path similar to the red path above. This coincides with a natural period of mild warming and retreat of
ice. During periods when the earth is following the more elliptical green orbit, cooler temperatures are observed as well as accumulation of global ice.
CO2, Temperature and Sea Levels
We can see this pattern and the relationships in the chart below showing CO2, global average temperatures and sea levels.
It is easy to observe that global average temperature and sea levels follow CO2 levels.
The Scary Part
Now here is where things get a bit scary. Let’s extend the chart above to present day.
While we are experiencing a normal, natural cycle of warming, clearly something is different this time. What is different is the dramatic rize in CO2. What of course can be expected to follow is much higher than normal warming and rise of sea level as arctic ice retreats much more dramatically than in the past.
Visualizing the Loss of Our Ice
And this is exactly what scientists are observing as can be seen in the shocking 30 second animation clip below.
A Close-up Look at Global Warming: Extreme Ice
To get a first hand look at this expected phenomenon of ice-melt, scientists travels to arctic regions to document, as never before in human history, what is really going on.