Arctic Warming

Andrew Revkin broke the details Saturday of the Arctic Council’s new report on global warming in the arctic, which is official due out Nov. 9:

A comprehensive four-year study of warming in the Arctic shows that heat-trapping gases from tailpipes and smokestacks around the world are contributing to profound environmental changes, including sharp retreats of glaciers and sea ice, thawing of permafrost and shifts in the weather, the oceans and the atmosphere.

The study, commissioned by eight nations with Arctic territory, including the United States, says the changes are likely to harm native communities, wildlife and economic activity but also to offer some benefits, like longer growing seasons. The report is due to be released on Nov. 9, but portions were provided yesterday to The New York Times by European participants in the project.

As it happens, I’m in the midst of reading The Whale and the Supercomputer, Charles Wohlforth’s terrific new book on climate change in the arctic. Wohlforth spends time both with the natives who have lived along the arctic circle for millennia and the scientists new to the region trying to understand climate change from the view of both. I highly recommend it.