Polar ice cap melt worries NASA

NASA is concerned that the polar ice cap is melting at an alarming rate due to global warming.

    Global warming has been causing the ice cap to melt

    Scientists from the US space agency say satellite images show the ice cap continuing to shrink.

    "It is happening now - we cannot afford to wait a long period of time for technological solutions," David Rind of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies said in New York on Thursday.

    "Change is in the air - literally."

    The part of the Arctic Ocean that remains frozen all year round reduced in size at a rate of 10% a decade since 1980, NASA researcher Josefino Comiso said.

    That cap reached record lows in 2002 and 2003, he said.

    NASA Researchers are worried because global warming speeds up as the ice cap melts, forming a vicious cycle.

    "Snow and sea-ice are highly reflective because they are white,"  said Comiso. "Most of the sun's energy is simply reflected back to space.

    "Retraction of the ice cover means that la smaller surface area is covered by this highly reflective snow and sea ice, and so more energy is absorbed and the climate warms."

    US and Canadian scientists reported in September that the largest ice shelf in the Arctic off Canada's coast had broken up due to climate change and could endanger shipping and drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.

    The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf has been in place on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory for at least 3,000 years.


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.