Vanishing ice and mirrors.

9 Sep

Back in August sea ice cover at the Arctic hit a record low weeks before the end of the melting season.

Ice, going, going...?

 

Now that sea ice extent is close to reaching its summer minimum it’s declined further. The fabled Northwest Passage has opened up for the first time in recorded history. In the 1500s European explorers set off to find a short route to the other side of the earth but a fortress of ice stood in the path of those ships. Even in the previous record year of 2005 not even the strongest icebreaker could navigate through the castellated icy kingdom that is the expanse of frozen water above Northern Canada and Alaska.

So another record, another route through. Back in the 1500s the incentive to find the passage was financial and colonial. Now it may be the same once again, encouraging trade from East Asia and Australia to the great seaports of Europe: Rotterdam, Felixstowe, Nantes, Deportivo. And this could be useful in a eco-friendly sense, cutting the journey between the furthest reaches of the earth by thousands of miles, millions of gallons of fuel, and huge amounts of carbon emissions. But the irony remains that human activity is behind this new saving grace.

And sea ice will continue to decline. New estimates have called for an ice free Arctic by 2030, 20 years earlier than the most dire predicition by the IPCC, mostly due to a more powerful albedo feedback than previously estimated.

 

On another note, I think i’m in love with the work of Snøhetta and Kjetil Thorsen.

 

Buildings like icebergs, icebergs like buildings.

A world of mirrors.

Arvo Part -Spiegel im Spiegel

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