Greenland:  A Laboratory For The Symptoms Of Global Warming

National Geographic says shrinking sea ice is causing the largest redrawing of its global atlas since the breakup of the Soviet Union. “Ice loss is accelerated in the Arctic because of a phenomenon known as the feedback loop: Thin ice is less reflective than thick ice, allowing more sunlight to be absorbed by the ocean, which in turn weakens the ice and warms the ocean even more, NASA says.” [National Geographic]

Global markets – including oil – are experiencing a conspicuous lack of volatility, which has some observers waiting for the other economic shoe to drop. “In oil one factor has been the high level of Opec’s spare capacity, which stands at 3.45m barrels a day – more than double the amount when volatility exploded in mid-2008, according to the International Energy Agency.” … “With energy prices stable, companies such as airlines see less need to use hedging instruments, and volumes at futures exchanges have slumped.” [Financial Times]

The West Texas Intermediate crude oil price – the US benchmark – approached $105 per barrel Tuesday and the United States Oil Fund ETF has also been increasing in price ahead of the weekly inventory report. Speculation over an additional reduction in stockpiles has energy traders making increasing bullish bets on crude oil ahead of the report.  This speculation, in turn, has lifted the United States Oil Fund USO +0.29% more than eight percent so far this year and added to gains in energy stocks as well.” [WSJ Market Watch]