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March 18, 2008

Arctic Ocean Getting Warm

Sound familiar? The Washington Post reports:

The Arctic ocean is warming up, icebergs are growing scarcer and in some places the seals are finding the water too hot, according to a report to the Commerce Department yesterday from Consul Ifft, at Bergen, Norway.

Reports from fishermen, seal hunters and explorers, he declared, all point to a radical change in climate conditions and hitherto unheard-of temperatures in the Arctic zone. Exploration expeditions report that scarcely any ice has been met with as far north as 81 degrees 29 minutes. Soundings to a depth of 3,100 meters showed the gulf stream still very warm.

Great masses of ice have been replaced by moraines of earth and stones, the report continued, while at many points well known glaciers have entirely disappeared. Very few seals and no white fish are found in the eastern Arctic, while vast shoals of herring and smelts, which have never before ventured so far north, are being encountered in the old seal fishing grounds.

The year was 1922.

The article was rediscovered last year in the Library of Congress. A corroborating source was also found with more detail about the "favorable ice conditions" described by State Department Consul George Ifft. Click the link to see the whole thing and scroll down to the comments for discussion of the relatively warm early half of the 20th century.


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posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:17 AM

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