Arctic Ice – Two Weeks Of Record Lows
Is it possible to have an Arctic ice record low during the height of the ice season? Yes. The arctic ice field, which used to grow well over 16 million square kilometers at the peak of the season (which basically falls somewhere in the first week of March), this year did not exceed 14 million square kilometers (according to Japanese Aeronautics Agency data – US data has the field at slightly over 14 million clicks. I have consistently used the Japanese data over the years). I posted on this a couple weeks ago, when it was uncertain whether or not the field would stay below the 14 million mark. Well, it did and in fact it sank rapidly to record lows for the day of the year being measured. Here is a link to the VISHOP page. The page will open showing today’s ice extent (the red line) compared to previous years in which a record low was recorded at the seasonal low (mid September). You will clearly see that today’s ice extent is well below previous decadal averages and well below years in which a record low low was set. But there is more to see on the VISHOP site. Press the grey bar at the bottom of the screen and the site will change to show the record for all years since 2002 (plus decadal averages before that).
As you can see, today is still well below previous years. Does this mean we will see a record low low come September? I have no idea. In the last few days the ice field has added some 50,000 square kilometers so, yeah, it is still fluctuating. But, if it plunges downward (and we are almost to the point in the season where the arctic begins to lose some serious ice) and stays below the trajectory of the past few years then, yes, it is possible we will set a new low low.
Why does this matter? Simply put, it matters because it is concrete evidence of yet one more global system in accelerating decline. Every day, we have a better understanding of how earth’s systems are decaying and how this impacts human society. Every day we better understand that accelerating decline in earth’s natural systems leads to accelerating declines in soil productivity, increasingly high rates of disasters, increasing droughts and floods. Essentially, we are able to chart and graph the transition of the world environment from benign to hostile toward human society. So also are we able to follow the impacts of our increasingly hostile environment through to impacts on human society. Those impacts take the form of increasing (and increasingly violent) conflicts, hunger and famine, disease, and disasters. In other words, we are seeing, right in front of our eyes, a process that is leading to a real-time fulfillment of the prophecy Christ Himself made in Matthew 24:6-8 (and in parallel verses in Luke 21:8-10).
With the arctic ice field, it matters perhaps even more because we can see the impact on other earth systems. We can see the jet stream slow down and deform and the ice field shrinks. We can see our atmospheric organization disrupt, resulting in blocking patterns that bring enduring droughts (see California) and other disruptions. For the arctic, we are able to trace the impact through other systems and that is why the new low seasonal high (yes, I realize “low low” and “low high” sound odd, but you get my meaning and one does get used to it) is so important. Keep watching – as Christ instructed us to. And keep witnessing – as Christ instructed us to.