For Immediate Release
As Arctic Sea Ice Reaches 2009 Minimum, Pressure Builds On Senate To Pass Climate Bill This Year
2009 Ice Melt Continues Rapid Decline Observed over Last Three Decades
WASHINGTON - Ice coverage over the Arctic sea has likely reached its lowest level
for 2009 - the third lowest amount of coverage on record - based on
data collected by the National Snow and Ice Data Center.
year's summer melt continues a trend of rapid sea ice decline over the
past 30 years. The average sea ice extent for August 2009 was 2.42
million square miles - about 540,000 square miles below the 1979 to
2000 average. That decline is larger than the states of Texas,
California, Florida and Indiana combined.
World Wildlife Fund issued the following statement from Keya Chatterjee, acting director of WWF's climate change program:
Arctic is sounding an alarm for our future. In every region of the US,
the impacts of climate change are transforming landscapes, imperiling
agriculture and other industries, and threatening our economy. As the
Arctic melts, Western forests burn, Midwestern communities flood, and
coastal areas brace for stronger storms.
"Climate change is a
crisis that cannot be put off until next year. It must be addressed
now. The costs of inaction are too high. It is critical that the Senate
pass a climate bill this year which would greatly increase the
likelihood of world governments reaching a global climate agreement
this December in Copenhagen.
"The Earth is not waiting for a more favorable political environment. Neither should the Senate Leadership."
NOTE TO EDITORS: Keya
Chatterjee and other climate experts are available for interviews to
discuss the significance of the 2009 Arctic summer sea ice melt.
For additional information on 2009 Arctic sea ice melt, please visit http://wwfblogs.org/climate/content/sea-ice-reaches-annual-minimum-impacts-arctic-warming-grow.
Earlier this month, WWF issued a report examining the implications of a warming Arctic on the rest of the planet: http://www.worldwildlife.org/what/wherewework/arctic/arctic-climate-feedbacks.html.
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The largest multinational conservation organization in the world, WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to 5 million globally. WWF's unique way of working combines global reach with a foundation in science, involves action at every level from local to global, and ensures the delivery of innovative solutions that meet the needs of both people and nature.