Monday, September 29, 2008

Latest from besieged arctic: Polar bears are eating each other

As arctic ice melts, "polar bears are starving, drowning, even resorting to cannibalism," one expert told CNN this week. Thirty years ago, the North Pole was covered in 2.5 million square miles of ice (an area about the size of the United States), but that area has shrunken to about 1.5 million square miles (what's left is the United States minus all the land east of the Mississippi).

We've been losing ice in the arctic at a rate of 10 percent per year, and within 5 years, it could disappear completely during the summer.

So what?

First of all, that ice helps "regulate and temper the climate in many parts of the world," reports CNN. It also reflects sunlight, keeping temperatures in check. Here in the United States, the net effect could be less rainfall in the West.

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I started pound360 to channel my obsession with vitamins, running and the five senses. Eventually, I got bored focusing on all that stuff, so I came back from a one month hiatus in May of 2007 (one year after launching Pound360) and broadened my mumblings here to include all science.