Co-host Russ Mitchell introduced Palmer’s report by fretting: “Scientists report today that the Arctic is melting so fast, the North Pole could be ice free during the summer within the next decade or two.” Meanwhile, in the New York Times story, Andrew Revkin explained: “The National Snow and Ice Data Center released its summary of summer sea-ice conditions in the Arctic on Tuesday, noting a substantial expansion of the extent of “second-year ice” — floes thick enough to have persisted through two summers of melting. The result could be a reprieve, at least for a while, from the recent stretch of remarkable summer meltdowns.” The CBS report failed to cite such evidence.
At the end of the article, Revkin did acknowledge the fear of melting ice: “even with the current recovery — it’s hard to find a researcher probing Arctic ice trends who does not foresee open-water summers, and all that comes with them, in coming decades, as long as greenhouse gases keep accumulating in the atmosphere.”
Here is a full transcript of the CBS Early Show story:
RUSS MITCHELL: Finally, scientists report today that the Arctic is melting so fast, the North Pole could be ice free during the summer within the next decade or two. CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer has more.
[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Climate Concerns; Study: Ice-Free Arctic Circle Summers]
ELIZABETH PALMER: The British exploration team walked and swam 280 miles across the Arctic ice of the Beaufort Sea north of Alaska. Along the way, they drilled hundreds of core samples to measure the ice and found in some places it was only six feet thick. But more alarming, all the ice was formed this past year. That means this area, once covered with ice that built up year on year, will regularly now be open water during the summer months.
PETER WADHAMS [PROFESSOR, POLAR OCEAN PHYSICS GROUP, UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE]: The summer ice will disappear within 20 to 30 years and it will be – a lot of it will be gone within ten years.
PALMER: Climate scientists say the ice has helped keep the planet cool by reflecting the Sun’s rays. Once it’s largely gone, though, the sea will absorb heat more rapidly and global warming will speed up. Elizabeth Palmer, CBS News, London.