The latest evidence of global warming presented by a team of German, Norwegian, and US scientists has shown that the northern end of the Gulf Stream current, which is flowing into the Arctic Ocean, is warmer now than it has been for at least 2,000 years.
Analyzing ocean sediment cores dating back two millennia, the scientists found that the waters in the Fram Strait between Greenland and Svalbard, Norway have warmed roughly two degrees Celsius in the past century. The Fram Straight is the main carrier of ocean heat to the Arctic and in recent summers registered at around 6 degrees Celsius, which is warmer than at any other previous time included in the data.
Dr. Robert Spielhagen of the Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Literature in Mainz, Germany, noted the implications of the unnaturally warm temperatures, stating: “We must assume that the accelerated decrease of the Arctic sea ice cover and the warming of the ocean and atmosphere of the Arctic measured in recent decades are in part related to an increased heat transfer from the Atlantic.”
As the ice melts, darker colored waters are exposed, which soak up more heat from the sun and further accelerate warming. With Arctic ice cover at a record low as of January 2011, scientists warn that the region is all too quickly heading toward ice-free summers, with repercussions that range from the loss of vital habitat to more far-reaching changes such as weather disturbances in the British Isles.
Dr. Spielhagen and associates, our sincere thanks for your dedicated efforts to reveal these interrelated factors of global warming. May we all do our part to adopt lifestyles that protect and cool our planet. Speaking of the situation's urgency during a September 2009 videoconference in South Korea, Supreme Master Ching Hai described the most effective means by which we may halt Arctic warming, as well as all threats of climate change.