The Arctic: An Icy Parable

This article was written by Atticus Mullikin as an epilogue for the dossier, Future Energy, on the website It was republished on the Atticus Mullikin Newsvine column with permission.

“The ‘disaster’ scenario in the Arctic is no longer science fiction. What was initially only a question of modeling has since been widely confirmed by field observation.” Says glaciologist Philippe Huybrechts of the Free University of Brussels “Each year, Greenland is losing about 80 cubic kilometres of ice. If the ice sheet loses 20 percent of its volume, the process will become irreversible.” To illustrate the importance of even limited ice melt, it’s relevant to point out that if Greenland alone were to lose all of its ice it would raise ocean levels 7.5 meters worldwide. Even incremental melting of the arctic region is important, as many cities and settlements are within a few feet of sea level.

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