The Erimtan Angle

Joe Romm, editor of and author of Language Intelligence, tells Viewpoint host Eliot Spitzer why news that the Arctic ice cap has shrunk to the smallest size on record is cause for concern (21 Sept 2012).

Going down into the nitty-gritty of the big melt, Romm explains: “We’ve known for a long time about basic polar amplification. Warming melts highly reflective white ice and snow, which is replaced by the dark blue sea or dark land, both of which absorb far more sunlight and hence far more solar energy. More recently another insidious feedback has become obvious — as the Arctic ice retreats, big oil companies can drill for more fossil fuels whose combustion will accelerate warming and ice retreat. You might call this the “brainless frog” feedback. Now Reuters reports on yet another feedback: ‘Local pollution in the Arctic from shipping and oil and gas industries, which…

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