Might maritime activities, such as shipping, oil extraction, fishing etc. be having an effect on Barents Sea ice extents? Arnd Bernaerts has an informative post up at his blog: They warm-up the Arctic! Shipping, Off-Shore, Science etc.!
Dr. Bernaerts explains:
It is not known which alterations shipping, naval forces, research vessels and off-shore industry cause in the Arctic Ocean sea-body structure, whether ice covered or not, and the subsequent impact on the annual sea ice and the polar-weather, called climate change. Bad that science has no idea about this human Arctic warming aspect. Worse, science has never rose, or ever been willing to raise and investigate the subject. At least you will face a hard time to find anything in this respect.
When considering the possible impact of ocean uses on climate change, any activities at sea north of the Polar Circle is a multifold higher than in any other Ocean region. Between the Arctic Ocean and the Equator the climatic impact of human activities the difference could be several hundred, if not thousand times, due to extreme narrow structure margin concerning water temperature and salinity. The temperature range in the upper 150 meter sea surface level is minus 2° to plus 4°C. Arctic salinity is down to 30ppt in places, while the oceans vary between 34ppt and 36ppt. So far it is statistics, and they are ‘wrong’ if not properly applied.
Navigating and other ocean uses in Arctic sea areas without knowing the impact is irresponsible. Navigating through compact ice is even worse, as the force of ship screws may travel over long distances, with significant changes to sea temperatures and salinity.
The whole article is informative and raises important questions (and not for the first time). Time to stop obsessing over CO2, the “magic” gas, and try to understand real human impacts.
A Russian liquid gas tanker (LNG) “Christophe de Margerie” just set two Arctic records few weeks ago (Details). The ship not only traveled through the Arctic in record time, but has done so without the use of an icebreaker escort. She is the first of a total of 15 planned LNG carriers that will be gradually deployed.