YONGBYON, North Korea (CNN) — North Korea blew up part of its Yongbyon nuclear plant Friday, in full view of CNN and a handful of international broadcasters invited to witness this dramatic and symbolic event.
U.S. State Department official Sung Kim also attended, and called the move “a very significant disablement step.”
The move came just 24 hours after Pyongyang handed in its long-awaited nuclear declaration, and after President Bush responded by lifting some sanctions and removing North Korea from the U.S. list of states that sponsor terrorism.
Such tremendous good news. And I’m very glad to see Bush respond so quickly to this news.
(CNN) — The North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September as global warming melts away Arctic sea ice, according to scientists from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado.
“We kind of have an informal betting pool going around in our center and that betting pool is ‘does the North Pole melt out this summer?’ and it may well,” said the center’s senior research scientist Mark Serreze.
It’s a 50-50 bet that the thin Arctic sea ice, which was frozen last autumn, will completely melt away at the geographic North Pole, Serreze said.
The ice retreated to a record level in September when the Northwest Passage — the sea route through the Arctic Ocean — opened up briefly for the first time in recorded history.
“What we’ve seen through the past few decades is the Arctic sea ice cover is becoming thinner and thinner as the system warms up,” Serreze said.
Specific weather patterns will determine whether the North Pole’s ice cover melts completely this summer, he said.
. . . “Five years ago, to think that we’d even be talking about the possibility of the North Pole melting out in the summer, I would have never thought it,” he said.
The melting, however, has been long seen as inevitable, he said.
“If you talked to me or other scientists just a few years ago, we were saying that we might lose all or most of the summer sea ice cover by anywhere from 2050 to 2100,” Serreze said. “Then, recently, we kind of revised those estimates, maybe as early as 2030. Now, there’s people out there saying it might be even before that. So, things are happening pretty quick up there.”
Serreze said those who suggest the Arctic meltdown is just part of a historic cycle are wrong.
“It’s not cyclical at this point. I think we understand the physics behind this pretty well,” he said. “We’ve known for at least 30 years, from our earliest climate models, that it’s the Arctic where we’d see the first signs of global warming.
“It’s a situation where we hate to say we told you so, but we told you so,” he said. . .
We (as in the whole world) are in so much trouble. It is hard to even fathom the seriousness of this situation. To think, we as humans may be able to dodge nuclear holocaust but instead end up destroying human civilization as we know through global warming. As a child of the 80’s, this is hard to even imagine.