CBS ‘Early Show’ Warns: All Ice at North Pole May Melt This Summer

On Friday’s CBS "Early Show," co-host Maggie Rodriguez teased an upcoming interview with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair about global warming: "Also ahead this morning, we'll talk about a disturbing new report from some scientists in Colorado who say that there is the very real possibility that for the first time we will see the ice in the North Pole melt away completely during the summer." Rodriguez elaborated as she later introduced the segment:

There are disturbing reports out this morning about the situation in the North Pole. Scientists are saying that by this summer there may be no ice on the North Pole at all, and that would be a first. Although the scientists also say there would be no significant short-term consequence to this, to not have ice in the North Pole year-round for the first time in history is symbolic of the growing threat of global warming.

While Rodriguez suggested the potential ice melting as a dramatic event, according to an article on National Geographic’s website: "The melt would be mostly symbolic – thicker ice, pushed against the Canadian continental shelf by weather and Earth's rotation, would still survive the summer. Recent models suggest that the Arctic won't see its first completely ice-free summer until somewhere between 2013 and 2030."Rodriguez asked Blair about the report and he responded: " I think it just demonstrates how necessary it is to take action on climate change, how urgent it is that we get a global comprehensive deal...that is realistic for sure, but radical enough to stop the climate changing and prevent further damage to the environment."Rodriguez wondered why Blair did not do more to pressure President Bush on global warming: "This is obviously important to you. Why didn't we hear you talk more about it when you were Prime Minister? When you had the ear of our Republican president?" Later, Rodriguez even attempted to get Blair to take sides in the presidential race: "Here in the United States, which of our two presidential candidates, Senator Obama or Senator McCain, do you think is better equipped to take action on climate change?" Blair diplomatically replied: "Well, first of all, I'm not getting into your presidential campaign, that's a matter for America not for me. But actually, both of the candidates have got a strong record on this issue."At the end of the segment, Rodriguez turned to weather man Dave Price who was on location in Alaska and declared: "...glaciers, environmentalism, a big issue here. There are 29,000 square miles of glacier. That's 5% of this state. And 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, 60 are within 50 miles of Anchorage, where we are this morning..."Here is the full transcript of the segment:The Early Show06/27/087:02AM TEASERMAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: Also ahead this morning, we'll talk about a disturbing new report from some scientists in Colorado who say that there is the very real possibility that for the first time we will see the ice in the North Pole melt away completely during the summer. Ahead I'll be speaking with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who's in Japan tackling the topic of global warming. The Early Show06/27/087:08AMMAGGIE RODRIGUEZ: There are disturbing reports out this morning about the situation in the North Pole. Scientists are saying that by this summer there may be no ice on the North Pole at all, and that would be a first. Although the scientists also say there would be no significant short-term consequence to this, to not have ice in the North Pole year-round for the first time in history is symbolic of the growing threat of global warming. I'm joined now by former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who's in Tokyo tackling global warming with world leaders. Good morning to you, Mr. Blair.TONY BLAIR: Good morning. RODRIGUEZ: There's a report out this morning that the North Pole may be briefly ice-free by September. Can I get your take on that?BLAIR: I think it just demonstrates how necessary it is to take action on climate change, how urgent it is that we get a global comprehensive deal, one that has America on the one side, China and other developing countries on the other side in it and that we take action that is realistic for sure, but radical enough to stop the climate changing and prevent further damage to the environment.RODRIGUEZ: This is obviously important to you. Why didn't we hear you talk more about it when you were Prime Minister? When you had the ear of our Republican president? BLAIR: I did, actually. I mean, the reason why this process is happening here in Japan is because when I was in office and was the president of the G-8 for that year of 2005, we actually put climate change on the agenda and for the first time established a forum in which not just America and the European countries and Japan could talk about climate change, but also China, and India, and Brazil, and South Africa, Mexico. So it's really arising out of that initiative. And we're seeing the meeting today. And, you know, you're right in saying it's tough to take action. And we've got to make sure that action's realistic. You know, we don't want to damage our economy. But I think all the evidence is that if we start to take these measures, actually the environment and the technology associated with it and cleaner technology, actually provides jobs and provides a boost to the economy. RODRIGUEZ: Here in the United States, which of our two presidential candidates, Senator Obama or Senator McCain, do you think is better equipped to take action on climate change?BLAIR: Well, first of all, I'm not getting into your presidential campaign, that's a matter for America not for me. But actually, both of the candidates have got a strong record on this issue. And I actually believe it's possible this year this administration will also agree to a global target. So, I think that the mood in America has shifted dramatically over the last few years. I think people now understand there is a problem and that the challenge is serious. But you know, as you say, the question is how to get the solution in place. And that requires a lot of pain staking and difficult and complex technical work, as well as political will. RODRIGUEZ: Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Thank you for taking the time this morning. BLAIR: Thank you. RODRIGUEZ: Dave Price is on the road this morning. And it was a long trip. He's in Anchorage, Alaska. Dave, good morning.DAVE PRICE: Good morning to you Maggie. Great crowd we have here celebrating the 50th anniversary of statehood here. It all began just a half century ago. We'll talk more about the history in just a little while. In the meantime, though, glaciers, environmentalism, a big issue here. There are 29,000 square miles of glacier. That's 5% of this state. And 100,000 glaciers in Alaska, 60 are within 50 miles of Anchorage, where we are this morning, right on the shores of Lake Hood.

Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen
Kyle Drennen is a News Analyst for MRC