The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanise Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.(...)
The photographs demonstrate starkly how global warming is changing the Arctic. More than a million square kilometres of sea ice - a record loss - were missing in the summer of 2007 compared with the previous year.Now, in fairness, The Guardian does not lay out sufficient evidence to convince me of the claim they leap to in their headline, "Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide." However, they do point out that environmental agencies have been howling for years that they don't have funds and resources to aquire the data they need. I suppose, as the shrub was earnestly telling us we needed more research and more studies and more careful thought, that in his reflexive classification of any data at all, the utility of photos like the above might have escaped his attention. And given his mentality, I'm sure that the idea that data, you know, might be of any use to scientists concerned that we might be headed into one of the greatest extinction events in earth's history. So maybe there really wasn't purposeful, malicious intent.
Nor has this loss shown any sign of recovery. Ice cover for 2008 was almost as bad as for 2007, and this year levels look equally sparse.
"These are one-metre resolution images, which give you a big picture of the summertime Arctic," said Thorsten Markus of Nasa's Goddard Space Flight Centre. "This is the main reason why we are so thrilled about it. One-metre resolution is the dimension that's been missing."