Sep 17, 2008 | 10
The long, frigid Arctic autumn and winter began late last week—and the shrinking sea ice has begun to expand anew. That's good news for starving polar bears waiting for the ice to come in so they can hunt. But the dwindling ice pack—courtesy of global warming—bodes ill for Earth's future.
"The continued drastic melting of the Arctic sea ice is a disaster for the polar bear and a harbinger of what's to come for the rest of the world if we don't reduce greenhouse gas emissions," says Kassie Siegel, climate program director at the Center for Biological Diversity, who led the charge to list the polar bear as an endangered species.
Aug 27, 2008 | 1
For the second year in a row, the fabled Northwest Passage has opened in the Arctic—thanks to a sea-ice melt that has already shrunk the polar cap to the second smallest extent ever recorded. And with a few more weeks to go in the summer thaw season, 2008 could surpass 2007 as the smallest amount of sea ice on record, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC).
This year's record-breaking melt was, to some extent, set up by the 2007 season—also a record-breaker. More open ocean means more trapped heat in the water, which means that thinner ice forms during the long Arctic winter. Thinner ice melts more readily when temperatures rise. So, despite a relatively cool summer this year, the sea ice is just melting away.
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The Dow Chemical Company is the leading producer of polyalkylene glycols (PAGs) used in synthetic fluids and lubricants where petroleum,
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