The Hockey Stick Nobody Talks About

We’ve all seen the graph of carbon dioxide concentrations going back thousands of years, with a sudden shot up starting in the 20th century. Here it is again, though, just in case.

carbon dioxide concentrations

Our atmospheric concentration of CO2 gets the lion’s share of attention because our increased concentration of greenhouse gases like CO2 causes more heat to be trapped by the atmosphere. However, another critical “hockey stick” that gets very little attention, and that’s the sharp decline in summer ice in the Arctic over a thousand-year average, shown below.

sea ice

On average, the Arctic has lost over 2 million square meters of ice extent—that’s an area the size of Greenland or Mexico! And the losses are speeding up. NASA’s latest data set, including the 2018 Arctic sea ice minimum, says we’re losing ice at about 12.8% per decade. This is especially alarming because last year, 2017, set records for temperatures, wildfires, and extreme storms; and this year, 2018, is looking no better.

There is hope, though. Our latest climate modeling shows that we can not only prevent ice from melting, but we can restore it so the Arctic begins to form more ice on its own. And we can do this by applying our reflective sand to the most crucial, strategic locations for ice formation and retention in the Arctic. Stay tuned for our next academic paper to find out more, and, until then, stay cool.