Why such a buildup? Well, according to the U.S. National Weather Service it is happening this year because of several natural factors, such as a high pressure zone over the coast of Alaska combined with low winter temperatures and certain ocean currents.
In response to the news, Shell’s Vice-President Pete Slaiby is quoted as saying:
“We’re seeing multiyear ice that they’ve not seen in such large quantities in over a decade, and it could impact our ability to start the well [in Alaska].Of particular concern…is the region of the Chukchi Sea around the company’s Berger Prospect – potentially the crown jewel of the company’s offshore oil inventory – which in normal years would be accessible by mid-July. This year, it may be unreachable until late July or early August.”
“Projections of sea ice loss suggest that the Arctic ocean will likely be free of summer sea ice sometime between 2060 and 2080,while another estimate puts this date at 2030, and another at 2013 or earlier.Because of the amplified response of the Arctic to global warming, it is often seen as a high-sensitivity indicator of climate change. [My highlighting.]
Now, while the extent of Arctic sea ice may not be back to what it was in the 1980s over a single winter, the fact that the projections of sea ice loss are already proving to be wrong, might that suggest that anthropogenic global warming or climate change science, or whatever it is called this year, is not actually settled?