Patrick Barry, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Science@NASA, Marshall Space Flight Center
This audio file reports on the possible climate change that may come about if the Arctic ice cap continues to melt. The thawing of sea ice covering the Arctic could disturb or even halt large currents in the Atlantic Ocean known as the great ocean conveyor belt. Without the vast heat that these ocean currents deliver, Europe's average temperature would likely drop 5 to 10 degrees C (9 to 18 degrees F), and parts of eastern North America would be chilled somewhat less. Using a sensor called the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-Earth Observation Satellite (AMSR-E), uninterrupted surveillance of the ice shows that the year-round ice has been retreating since the beginning of the satellite record in 1978 at an average rate of 9 percent per decade. This site is supplemented with an audio version of the text along with maps and photographs.
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