The Big Melt: How the cryosphere is changing and what it means for our weather

Admiral David Titley, now at Penn State University, is a proven military leader. In a speech one day, he said something like this, “the ice doesn’t care what your beliefs, biases or ideologies are, it just melts.” Snow, sea ice, glaciers…the collective sum of frozen water all across the planet makes up the cryosphere. The cryosphere undergoes changes all of the time and many of them are natural. Our planet experiences Ice Ages in part because of changes in the Earth’s axial tilt or movement around the sun. However, it may also be experiencing changes due to other factors as well, including human contributions. It is odd and baffling, but people approach this type of discussion from an “either/or” perspective when “and” is closer to reality based on scientific studies.

This week on WX Geeks, Dr. Mark Serreze, Director of the National Snow & Ice Data Center, talks about changes in our cryosphere. In particular, Dr. Serreze will focus on the melting sea ice at the North Pole and why that part of the world is crucial to the earth’s climate and even the weather where you live thousands of miles away. Dr. Serreze also deals with some of the key “hot button” topics that appear in such discussions like why Antarctic and Arctic changes differ (we have long understood this even as it gets misinformed), will Greenland Melt and flood us all (such hyperbole gets out of hand but changes there are critical to understand), and what are the implications of the Arctic Sea Ice minimum each year.

One of the things that viewers will notice is how skilled Dr. Serreze is at conveying complex scientific information to the public in an understandable and non-threatening manner.

Join us for an all-new episode of Weather Geeks this weekend. The show always airs Noon ET (11 am CT, 10 am MT, 9 am PT). on the Weather Channel.

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