The melting of sea ice during summer in the Arctic is part a natural cycle, but the rate at which the sea ice is currently melting is unprecedented, as illustrated in today’s BBC News.
"Norwegian researchers report that the sea ice is becoming significantly thinner and more vulnerable.
Last month, the annual thaw of the region's floating ice reached the lowest level since satellite monitoring began, more than 30 years ago.
It is thought the scale of the decline may even affect Europe's weather."
Why should we care? Because this finding means global warming is occurring and accelerating at an even greater rate than predicted. White ice reflects more sunlight than open water or other dark surfaces, so less ice means more solar energy is being absorbed by Earth, thereby compounding the effects of a warming planet. One expert states that this rate of absorption is roughly the same as adding another 20 years of manmade carbon dioxide pollution.
So if you didn’t like this summer’s heat waves, wildfires, and droughts; if you care about the health and welfare of the poor and vulnerable – those who Christ calls us to care and advocate for; or if you simply want to be a responsible steward of God’s good creation; then pay attention and step up to the plate!
Times are a-changin’ – even faster than we thought.
Alycia Ashburn is the Creation Care Campaign Director at Sojourners.
Photo: Melting icebergs, Denis Kichatof / Shutterstock.com