US Lags Behind in Handling Rapidly Shrinking Arctic Sea Ice
The U. S. military and scientific agencies are not able to strengthen their efforts to tackle rapidly shrinking and thinning Arctic sea ice. A meeting was organized last week to address the issue. US Arctic officials at the Coast Guard, Navy, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other agencies participated in the meeting to cope with looming prospect of a seasonally ice-free Arctic Ocean.
The meeting concluded that the U. S. is lagging behind other nations to handle rapidly changing Arctic environment. There is not a single Navy surface ship that can navigate the ice-covered waters.
Diplomacy has also not shown the potential to effectively deal with other countries on issues involving the Arctic. Due to a stretch of favorable melting conditions, Arctic sea ice extent has dwindled from the 11 smallest for this time of year to the fifth smallest in the past two weeks.
According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, ice extent declined at a rate of 51,000 square miles per day. The rate was 61% faster than the average rate of decline over the period 1981 to 2010, said NSIDC.
Arctic sea ice extent went down to the smallest last year in the satellite era. Studies suggested that it was possibly the smallest extent on record.
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