2016-11-03. The average U.S. family destroys a football field's worth of Arctic sea ice every 30 years.

posted Nov 10, 2016, 9:03 AM by Alan Gould

By By Warren Cornwall, Science. For GSS Climate Change chapter 8. Excerpt: The jet fuel you burned on that flight from New York City to London? Say goodbye to 1 square meter of Arctic sea ice. Since at least the 1960s, the shrinkage of the ice cap over the Arctic Ocean has advanced in lockstep with the amount of greenhouse gases humans have sent into the atmosphere, according to a study published this week in Science. Every additional metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) puffed into the atmosphere appears to cost the Arctic another 3 square meters of summer sea ice—a simple and direct observational link that has been sitting in data beneath scientists' noses. "It's really basic," says co-author Dirk Notz, a sea ice expert at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany. "In retrospect, it sounds like something someone should have done 20 years ago." If both the linear relationship and current emission trends hold into the future, the study suggests the Arctic will be ice free by 2045—far sooner than some climate models predict. ...According to the new calculations, for instance, the average annual carbon emissions from a U.S. family of four would claim nearly 200 square meters of sea ice. Over 3 decades, that family would be responsible for destroying more than an American football field's worth of ice—a tangible threat to ice-dependent creatures such as polar bears....  http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2016/11/average-us-family-destroys-football-fields-worth-arctic-sea-ice-every-30-years