The Arctic “Demise Spiral”: Lamenting the Collapse of a 4000 Yr Previous Ice Shelf


Caribou. By Are G Nilsen, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

The Guardian wants you to weep for an ice shelf which even they admit didn’t exist back when the Egyptian Pyramids were being constructed. They demand we doing everything in our power to prevent the ice melt from uncovering vast deposits of gold and precious minerals, and opening valuable new sea routes.

The Arctic is in a death spiral. How much longer will it exist?

The region is unravelling faster than anyone could once have predicted. But there may still be time to act

At the end of July, 40% of the 4,000-year-old Milne Ice Shelf, located on the north-western edge of Ellesmere Island, calved into the sea. Canada’s last fully intact ice shelf was no more.

On the other side of the island, the most northerly in Canada, the St Patrick’s Bay ice caps completely disappeared.

Yet some find opportunities in the crisis. Melting ice has made the region’s abundant mineral deposits and oil and gas reserves more accessible by ship. China is heavily investing in the increasingly ice-free Northern Sea Route over the top of Russia, which promises to cut shipping times between the Far East and Europe by 10 to 15 days.

The Northwest Passage through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago could soon yield another shortcut. And in Greenland, vanishing ice is unearthing a wealth of uranium, zinc, gold, iron and rare earth elements. In 2019, Donald Trump claimed he was considering buying Greenland from Denmark. Never before has the Arctic enjoyed such political relevance.

“It’s got to be both a reduction in emissions and carbon capture at this point,” explains Stroeve. “We need to take out what we’ve already put in there.”

Read more:

What can I say – weakest case ever for tackling global warming.

If you don’t act now, and invest enormous resources in ensuring vast deposits of gold and precious minerals remain frozen in the ground, and new prosperity creating shipping routes remain closed, the Caribou might suffer.

My thought: pass the Venison.

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