There’s a group that’s been looking at driftwood dispersal as a measure of the historic extent of the ice sheets in the northern hemisphere. It’s interesting right now because there’s been a series of claims that we’re close to or have crossed the tipping point where we are about to lose all of the northern ice cap.
That would create a huge problem as the oceans suddenly receive a huge supply of cold fresh water from the melt. It’s thought that such an infusion might slow down, or even stop, the conveyor effect – which is the driver behind the Gulf Stream current. Stopping that current would have a huge climatological effect on northern Europe.
But a team, looking at the best data we’ve go right now says, maybe we should all calm down:
“Dr Funder and his team say their data shows a clear connection between temperature and the amount of sea ice. The researchers concluded that for about 3,000 years, during a period called the Holocene Climate Optimum, there was more open water and far less ice than today – probably less than 50% of the minimum Arctic sea ice recorded in 2007.
But the researcher says that even with a loss of this size, the sea ice will not reach a point of no return.
“I think we can say that with the loss of 50% of the current ice, the tipping point wasn’t reached.””