IPY: From Knowledge to Action
I'm in Montreal, my third day here, at the International Polar conference.
It is definitely interesting. Really interesting stuff on how the climate change is changing ocean currents and the big issue is how it is changing the mixing of the lower nutrient rich part of the ocean with the upper layer. Without the mixing there is a huge void of minerals and such that are need for the massive photosynthesis that takes place in the upper ocean. So there's a lot of interest in how those currents are changing.
The other thing that is quite interesting in the Arctic ocean is these massive layers of freshwater and reduced salt concentration in other layers from the melting sea ice, and never mind that the multiyear ice is almost completely gone. The data I saw showed 40 meters of freshwater in some layers. I didn't follow it that well, but I always think of liquids as completely mixing and that doesn't happen and so the other thing that is happening is those salt water dependent species are declining in those increasing fresh water layers.
The ice melt has increase so rapidly, that in just a few years they've re-evaluated the rate of ice melt and tripled estimates.
And I had no idea how much ice there is in Antarctica. The ice there is a couple miles thick and the continent is bigger then the USA so now I get it on where the predictions on how much sea level could rise come from. Right now the predictions are only about a meter in the next 100 years, but I never understood where estimates of 70 meters if all the ice melted came from.
In any event, the ice there is melting faster as well and it is creating challenges for the penquins.
On another note, I saw a sample of a Japanese produce 3/8ths of an inch thick with an R30 value. This is a massive increase in insulation capacity of which I'm going to see if I can learn more about. Imagine it lining fridges and freezers and in my case, northern homes.
Anyway, I'm seeing evidence that what's happening in the polar regions of the planet are having environmental effects across the planet and the ocean currents is a big one.