"The floating cap of sea ice on the Arctic Ocean shrank this summer..."
This is the opening line of a Thursday, September 29, 2005 New York Times front page article titled
In a Melting Trend, Less Arctic Ice to Go Around. The interesting part of this article
is the notion that the shrinking of the ice cap may now be self-sustaining because the open water
absorbs solar energy that would otherwise be reflected back into space.
Web Link - the NYT article
The NYT article includes a web link for The National Snow and Ice Data Center.
NSIDC provides web pages devoted specifically to ocean currents and sea ice.
"Ocean currents transport heat from the equator to the poles through a heat -and saline- driven process
called thermohaline circulation. Warm water moves from the equator northward along the ocean surface
and eventually cools. As it cools, it becomes dense and heavy and sinks. This cold water then moves south
along the lower part of the ocean and rises near the equator to complete the cycle. Like the atmospheric heat
transport discussed earlier, this is a natural process that contributes to a proper temperature balance across
the earth. It also explains why Europe is relatively warm, because as northward flowing surface water in the
Atlantic Ocean cools, heat is released to the atmosphere."
"Although the ocean is salty, the sea ice on top of the Arctic ocean is fresh - fresh enough to drink. This
is because sea ice expels salt into the water as it forms. When the ice moves south through the Fram Strait
into the North Atlantic, it melts, creating a layer of fresh water over the ocean surface. This fresh water
is less dense than salty water, so it tends to stay at the top of the ocean. This discourages the normal process
of sinking at high latitudes (poles) that supports thermohaline circulation, which makes it harder to move the
warm water north from the equator. Strong evidence shows that this stagnation process happened over a period of
several years in the late 1960s and early 1970s, when extra fresh water entered the North Atlantic and affected
the climate of northern Europe. Scientists call this event the "Great Salinity Anomaly."
Find more interesting facts about ocean currents and SEA ICE at this web link.
Web Link - Sea Ice
Healthy eating habits, knowledge of food basics, and the understanding of sustainability are
noble aspirations when it comes to educating children about their world. Knowledge provides
Here are links to web sites where intelligent and inspiring work is being done to assist children
with food and health.
Center for Ecoliteracy
Rethinking School Lunch
The Center for Ecoliteracy is dedicated to education for sustainable living. The Center for Ecoliteracy was
founded in 1995 by Fritjof Capra, Peter Buckley, and Zenobia Barlow. The Center for Ecoliteracy is a public
foundation that supports a grantmaking program for educational organizations and school communities, primarily
in the San Francisco Bay Area; convenes networks of its grantees; sponsors projects consistent with its mission;
administers donor-advised funds; and manages a publishing imprint, Learning in the Real WorldŽ.
Web Link - Rethinking School Lunch
Farm-to-college programs connect colleges and universities with producers in their area to provide local
farm products for meals and special events on campus. These programs may be small and unofficial, mainly
involving special dinners or other events, or they may be large and well-established, with many local products
incorporated into cafeteria meals every day.
Web Link - Farm-to-college
Farm to School
Welcome to National Farm to School on the web!
Farm to School programs are popping up all over the U.S. These programs connect schools with local farms
with the objectives of serving healthy meals in school cafeterias, improving student nutrition, providing
health and nutrition education opportunities that will last a lifetime, and supporting local small farmers.
Web Link - Farm to School
Web Link - Farm to School - links
Menu for Change Program
The Stonyfield Farm Menu for Change Program has 6 ingredients designed to work with community groups to
help schools offer healthier food choices to their students, to encourage parents in their children's healthy
eating habits, and to raise public awareness about the importance of improving child health and nutrition. We
build partnerships at the local level, and advocate for public policy changes at the state and national levels.
Web Link - Stonyfield Farms
- Healthy Vending Machines
- Parent Action Kit
- Organic Lunchbox
- Celebrating Success!
- Community Partnerships and Projects
Web Link - Good2Go
Web Link - What you can do
Web Link - Bringing Healthier Foods Into Schools