In the Arctic, melting ice is causing earthquakes ...
The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off.
Scientists monitoring events this summer say the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise and make predictions this February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change far too low.
The glacier at Ilulissat, which supposedly spawned the iceberg that sank the Titantic, is now flowing three times faster into the sea than it was 10 years ago.
Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Ilulissat yesterday: "We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at 2 metres an hour on a front 5km [3 miles] long and 1,500 metres deep. That means that this one glacier puts enough fresh water into the sea in one year to provide drinking water for a city the size of London for a year."
... and significantly reducing the world's polar bear population:
Two-thirds of the world’s polar bears will disappear by 2050, even under moderate projections for shrinking summer sea ice caused by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, government scientists reported on Friday.
The finding is part of a yearlong review of the effects of climate and ice changes on polar bears to help determine whether they should be protected under the Endangered Species Act. Scientists estimate the current polar bear population at 22,000.
The report, which the United States Geological Survey released here, offers stark prospects for polar bears as the world grows warmer.
The scientists concluded that, while the bears were not likely to be driven to extinction, they would be largely relegated to the Arctic archipelago of Canada and spots off the northern Greenland coast, where summer sea ice tends to persist even in warm summers like this one, a shrinking that could be enough to reduce the bear population by two-thirds.
The bears would disappear entirely from Alaska, the study said.
“As the sea ice goes, so goes the polar bear,” said Steven Amstrup, lead biologist for the survey team.