Environmental Norms are Changing

Blog #1: David Lehn

During class, we talked about how what was normal and healthy blood pressure thirty years ago is not the normal and healthy blood pressure now. Over time, what was normal and healthy can completely change. As we gain more information and knowledge on a subject, our viewpoints of what is normal and what isn’t can change. Not only does this happen in health, it happens in the environment.

NASA arctic sea ice 184 2012

Above is a before and after picture of Arctic Sea ice. This is a twenty-eight year difference. The normal sea ice level in 2012 would be an extreme low in 1984. This shows that over years, the normal sea ice level changed dramatically, just like blood pressure. The changing of what is normal and what is extreme is terrible for our environment. Over the past ten years, the Arctic Sea ice levels have not changed dramatically. In fact, the sea ice level has gone up the past year. This doesn’t mean that the levels we see today are normal, but since we compare them to a short period of time, we see it as okay. It is not okay. If we compare the levels today to the levels from around thirty years ago, we see that it is definitely not normal. It is an enormous change and at an all time low.

Even though we see that the Arctic Sea Ice is extremely low and continues to dissipate, we don’t think that it is a problem. It is normal to our generation for the ice levels to be this low. We don’t think we need to change what we are doing to stop the melting of the ice. If we change what we see is normal to what it was twenty-eight years ago, I think more people will notice that the ice is extremely low and that something needs to be done to stop the melting of the ice.

Articles: http://www.livescience.com/55947-arctic-sea-ice-melt-new-normal.html




2 thoughts on “Environmental Norms are Changing

  1. I agree with your statement as far as what our generation thinks of as normal may have been an oddity in past generations. For example in the gulf of mexico past generations use to catch much more fish than what is caught today. A good day for them was catching a hundred fish, all varying in many different species and greater in size. While this was a good day for past generations, a good day for present generations is catching only 20 fish with a lot less variety in species. The problem being that what is thought to be normal presently was not normal in the past but it is accepted in today’s generation. As you can see as this goes on eventually a good day of catching fish will be 10 and after many years, eventually there will be no fish. This is why it is so important to study the past and keep documented records of the environment.


  2. At this point, I am not so sure there is anything to be done for the Arctic Ice Sheet’s melting. However, I do believe that you make a very good point in this article. I think if we make past scenarios “normal” maybe more people will make the slowing of Climate Change a bigger priority.


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