THERE’S AN OCEAN WHERE THERE USED TO BE ICE. The article that caught my attention was “Stretched Thin on Thin Ice.” It included the threatening sub-title, “With the Arctic melting and northern coast guards struggling to keep up, the next disaster is a matter of when, not if.” It was written by Robbie Gramer for the Foreign Policy website. Although undated, it appeared on Pocket on August 6, 2020. Here is the gist of Gramer’s piece:
“The winter of 2018 brought new record lows in the extent of sea ice in the Arctic. On one day in February, the amount of sea ice in the Arctic was nearly 500,000 square miles less than the historic average, according to the Norwegian Polar Institute, a Norwegian government research body that monitors the region.
‘You don’t see the differences from year to year,’ said Thomas Nilsen, the editor of the Barents Observer, an independent news outlet based in Kirkenes, a remote Norwegian town that’s near the northernmost tip of the European continent. ‘But 2013 was the first time that we really started to ask questions about what is going on.’
Nilsen said the changes are getting more dramatic, from melting sea ice to warmer, wetter weather. Coast guards across the north have begun frantically pushing their governments for more resources, more ships, and more training missions in the Arctic.
It helps that all of the countries in the region face the same problems—even the United States, which patrols the waters around Alaska. ‘There’s an ocean where there used to be ice,’ said Admiral Charles Ray, the vice commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard and its senior-most expert on the Arctic. ‘Human activity has therefore increased.’ ”
To read the article in its entirety, click HERE.
The photo at the top of this page accompanied the article and carried a caption: “A fishing boat sails by icebergs floating in the Jacobshavn Bay on August 26, 2007 near the town of Ilulissat, Greenland. Photo by Uriel Sinai / Getty Images.”