Year, Its 2030!
Magnetic Pole moving due to Core Flux.
The Earth Is Our Mother
New Warning On Arctic Ice
Snowmelt In Antarctica
Creeping Inland, Based On 20 Year Of NASA Data
Finds Vast Regions of West Antarctica Melted in Recent Past
Antarctic's Ice 'Melting
Whats Wrong With Destroying The
Ozone and Melting All The Ice At The Poles?
Environmental News and Global Warming
Environmental News and Global Warming
the Truth About Climate Change!
A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning
Environmental News and global Warming Part III Millions May Soon Be Fleeing
and Global Warming Part IV
Glaciers Melted and Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Rose In 2010
and Global Warming Part V
Why Are White Guys Climate Skeptics?
News and Global Warming Part VI
A Directory of Climate Change Skeptics
CLICK HERE to visit the Coral Reef Action
Click HERE to see a report on Global
Warming in the Arctic Region.
are several articles which taken individually, would be just curious, but
taken as a whole represent a terrifying scenario of a rapidly changing
environment both geographically and geomagneticly, which indicates that we
as a species are deep trouble.
Here Are 10
2009 That Underscore
A study published in the journal Science
reports that the current level of carbon dioxide
(CO2) in the atmosphere – about 390 parts per
million – is higher today than at any time
in measurable history -- at least the last 2.1
million years. Previous peaks of CO2 were
never more than 300 ppm over the past 800,000 years,
and the concentration is rising by around 2 ppm each
The World Meterological Organization reported that
2000-2009 was the hottest decade on
record with 8 of the hottest 10 years having
occurred since 2000.
2009 will end up as one of the 5 hottest
years since 1850 and the U.K.'s Met Office
predicts that, with a moderate El Nino, 2010 will
likely break the record.
The National Snow and Ice Data Center reported that
while a bit more summer Arctic sea ice appeared in
2009 than the record breaking lows of the last two
years, it was still well below normal levels. Given
that the Arctic ice cover remains perilously thin,
it is vulnerable to further melting,
posing an ever increasing threat to Arctic wildlife
including polar bears.
The Arctic summer could be ice-free by
mid-century, not at the end of the century
as previously expected, according to a study by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Recent observations published in the highly
respected Nature Geosciences indicate that
the East Antarctica ice sheet has been
shrinking. This surprised researchers, who
expected that only the West Antarctic ice sheet
would shrink in the near future because the East
Antarctic ice sheet is colder and more stable.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program completed an
assessment of what is known about climate change
impacts in the US and reported that, "Climate
changes are already observed in the United States
and… are projected to grow." These changes
include "increases in heavy downpours, rising
temperature and sea level, rapidly retreating
glaciers, thawing permafrost, lengthening ice-free
seasons in the ocean and on lakes and rivers,
earlier snowmelt, and alterations in river flows."
According to a report by the US Geological Survey,
slight changes in the climate may trigger
abrupt threats to ecosystems that are not
easily reversible or adaptable, such as insect
outbreaks, wildfire, and forest dieback. "More
vulnerable ecosystems, such as those that already
face stressors other than climate change, will
almost certainly reach their threshold for abrupt
change sooner." An example of such an abrupt threat
is the outbreak of spruce bark beetles throughout
the western U.S. caused by increased winter
temperatures that allow more beetles to survive.
The EPA, USGS and NOAA issued a joint report warning
that most mid-Atlantic coastal wetlands from
New York to North Carolina will be lost
with a sea level rise of 1 meter or more.
If we do not reduce greenhouse gas emissions by the
end of the century, some of the main fruit and nut
tree crops currently grown in California may no
longer be economically viable, as there will be a
lack of the winter chilling they require. And,
according to a study published in the
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences,
U.S. production of corn, soybeans and cotton
could decrease as much as 82%.
"Undeniable," U.S. Government Report Says
decade hottest on record, NOAA study says.
retreating Iceberg Glacier in
Chile's Bernardo O'Higgins
National Park (file).
by Maria Stenzel, National
is undeniable," and it's
happening fast, a new U.S.
government report says.
An in-depth analysis of ten
climate indicators all point to
a marked warming over the past
most recent decade being the
hottest on record,
according to the latest of the
National Atmospheric and Oceanic
annual "State of the Climate"
reports, which was released
Wednesday. Reliable global
climate record-keeping began in
The report focused on climate
changes measured in 2009 in the
context of newly available data
on long-term developments.
Wave: 2010 to Be One of Hottest
Years on Record.")
For instance, surface air
temperatures recorded from more
than 7,000 weather stations
around the world over the past
few decades confirm an
"unmistakable upward trend," the
And for the first time,
scientists put data from climate
temperature and sea-ice
cover—together in one place.
Their consistency "jumps off the
page at you," report co-author
Derek Arndt said.
"This is like going to the
doctor and getting your
respiratory test and circulatory
test and your neurosystem test,"
said Arndt, head of the Climate
Monitoring Branch of NOAA's
Climatic Data Center.
"It's testing all the parts, and
they're all in agreement that
the same thing's going on."
Global Warming Sparked
Extreme Weather in 2009?
Three hundred scientists
analyzed data on 37 climate
indicators, but homed in on 10
that the study says are
Those indicators include:
sea ice cover,
ocean heat content,
air temperature in the lower
temperature over land,
and temperature over oceans.
As scientists would predict in a
hotter world, some of the
indicators—such as ocean heat
content and temperature over
such as sea ice cover and snow
cover, are decreasing.
The influx of greenhouses gases
into the atmosphere has also hit
particularly hard, the NOAA
report says. (See
interactive on the greenhouse
effect and global warming.)
New evidence suggests that more
than 90 percent of that heat
trapped by greenhouses gases
over the past 50 years has been
absorbed into the oceans.
Because water expands as it
warms, the added ocean heat is
contributing to sea level rise
as well as to the rapid melting
of Arctic summer sea ice. That
melting in 2010 is on track to
be worse than 2007, when
cover reached its lowest point
Such climatic shifts are already
ushering in extreme weather,
which plagued much of the globe
in 2009, according to the
report. (See a
of potential global warming
experienced its third hottest
year on record.
On one February 2009 day—labeled
"Black Saturday"—in Australia,
400 wildfires swept across the
state of Victoria, killing 173
people and destroying 3,500
of the Australian fires.)
NOAA Climate Report
Offers Real-World Data
The NOAA report—published in the
of the American Meteorological
different from other climate
publications, because it's based
on observed data, not computer
models, making it the "climate
system's annual scorecard," the
authors wrote. (Test your
"It's telling us what's going on
in the real world, rather than
the imaginary world," said
a senior scientist at the
Boulder, Colorado-based National
Center for Atmospheric Research.
Even so, the report "does not
carry the authority of the IPCC
Panel on Climate Change]
by any means," Trenberth noted.
That's partially because IPCC
latest of which came out in 2007
with a similar claim that
warming is "unequivocal"—are
produced on longer time scales,
with more time for review.
And even with real-world data,
"the theory with regard to
global warming is still
incomplete"—especially since the
atmosphere is so complex,
This "can be seen at a glance,"
for example, "by looking out of
the window at the wondrous,
great variety in clouds."
Happy New Year, It's 2030!
Excerpts Published Jan 2, 2010 from crooks
In one of the
last C&L post on climate change,
they ‘predicted’ (if
that’s the right word) that at the current rate of global
warming/global dimming by 2030, global temperatures could
rise more than two degrees, twice as fast as previous models
suggested they would, and trigger the irreversible melting
of the Greenland ice sheet – after which nothing could be
done to stop the eventual death of the entire planet by the
end of the century, which no would be around to see anyway.
Pretty grim stuff, really.
First, the bad news. Happy New Year, it’s 2010.
Our politicians, just about all of them from every
country, are like children playing on a beach while the tide
goes out and fish flop on the sea bed, ignoring the signs of
a coming tsunami, too busy squabbling over toys and kicking
sand in each other’s eyes. Our current technology is
shackled to oil interests, with alternative energy and its
technology insufficiently advanced to make much of a
difference. According to the figures whizzing by ever so
quickly on an excellent website,
we’ve consumed nearly 170,000,000 MWh of energy today alone,
156,700,000 of which is from non-renewable sources. We’ve
got 15,676 days left until oil runs out completely.
That’s slightly less than 43 years. That’s all – 43
years, and we’ll have sucked those wells dry as a witch’s...
bones. My grandmother was born in 1910, she saw the car
replace horse-drawn wagons, and by the time she died, she’d
witnessed the birth of the internet and a man walking on the
moon. A child born this year, 2010, a mere hundred years
later, could possibly see that happen in reverse... should
we survive that long. By 2030, energy, water and food
shortages will be heading toward a
‘perfect storm’, with major upheavals, destabilization
and riots worldwide as food prices will rise to become
unaffordable to the majority, starvation increases and
millions of refugees flee climate ravaged regions.
We are consuming the world’s resources like a plague of
locusts, ripping through the earth’s metals, fossil fuels,
timber, and by 2030, we’ll have
consumed the lot. A study of 1700 species over 35 years,
from 1970 to 2005, have declined in numbers 28 percent
overall, with a 51 percent decline in tropical species.
We’re consuming fresh water at an unsustainable rate, just
to produce stuff – the U.S. using 2,483 cubic meters, about
the size of an Olympic swimming pool, every year. The amount
of land necessary to support one human being is 2.1
hectares. Demand in 2005 amounted to 2.7 hectares per
person. The United Arab Emirates, a tiny country of only
32,268 square miles with 6 million people – about one acre
per person – needs 23 acres of agricultural land, pasture,
forests, fisheries and space for infrastructure, as well as
absorb all the waste products and greenhouse gases, for each
and every one of those inhabitants. The U.S. is the
second-most demanding country per inhabitant, with Kuwait
taking bronze. We’re consuming everything we need for long
term survival – trees and animals do more than provide us
with wood and food, they protect coasts, conserve the soil,
replenish the air we breathe, provide us with medicines.
Mostly trees, we’ve still got plenty of animals – if you
don’t mind domestic sheep and cows replacing more useless
wild things. And maybe not so much the trees, either,
palm oil production destroying tens of millions of
hectares of rain forests along with killing 50 orangutans a
year, pushing Sumatran tigers and rhinos and the Asian
elephant into functional extinction within ten years.
Worse, we’ll have run out of ‘waste disposal’, the earth
slowly being buried in our own crap, now doesn’t that
conjure an interesting image? Having trouble with that?
Here, how about
the world’s biggest rubbish dump right now, a vast 100
million tonne expanse of ‘plastic soup’ twice the size of
the continental US floating in the Pacific Ocean, from
Hawaii to Japan, choking off sea life. The man who had the
dubious honour of discovering the Great Pacific Garbage
Patch, Charles Moore, an American oceanographer and former
sailor, also happened to be a very rich man, inheriting a
family fortune in the oil industry – y’know, the stuff they
make plastic from. What he discovered shook him badly enough
that he sold off his business assets and became an
environmental activist, warning that if consumers don’t cut
back on disposable plastic, this vast, reeking, toxic
garbage slick is going to double in size by 2020. If a rich
oil man giving up his personal fortune to fight for the
environment doesn’t convince you, I can’t imagine else what
would. But unless you’re a wealthy yachtman, or live on
Hawaii where occasionally a few tonnes of floating plastic
waste vomits up on the beach, its... far, far away. Out of
sight.. Out of mind.
And unless you’re a worker in India, China or Africa, you
probably won’t see the vast mountains of
e-trash piling up, either. Computers are a source of
concentrated heavy metals and toxins that have a tendency to
leak after awhile. But those of us who can afford to
‘upgrade’ every few years don’t need to worry too much about
that , we just buy new gear and ship the old stuff off to...
well, where? Safely recycling old computers is expensive,
far cheaper to ship it to the third world, which is eager to
have it all, extracting any working parts and stripping out
the gold, platinum and copper in the circuitry. Supposedly,
under the Basel Convention, it’s illegal to export hazardous
waste, but – like much of anything the first world does
these days – we say one thing and find loopholes to do
another. Even when offending exporters are caught, so what?
They get slapped with a small fine, and the stuff is
auctioned off – usually to the same company that imported it
in the first place, thus cleverly turning their own crime
into legitimate goods. Convenient, that.
Then it all goes into huge piles of junk where low-caste
workers in India or poor women and children in Asia
make $1.50 a day smashing circuit boards, pouring acid
on electronic parts to extract the precious metals, burning
the plastic and breathing in carcinogenic smoke, drinking
ground water with 190 times the pollution levels allowed by
WHO guidelines. All because you and I just had to have the
newest computer and Gameb oy and Playstation and iPod and
mobile phone for Christmas and chuck the old ones away. But
again, we don’t see that – it’s happening on the far side of
town, in countries far, far away.
Speaking of Christmas, isn’t ironic that good boys and
girls are ripping the wrapping paper off the
standard Christmas gift #138, on page 57 of Santa’s
Christmas gift catalog, volume 2, issue number 9, a lovely
new telescope… which they can’t really see much out of
anyway, due to the increase in Yuletide
light pollution from all those ‘festive’ Christmas
decorations, not to mention the spike in electrical
consumption and the increase in fossil fuel necessary to
create that energy. Oh, let’s not forget the amount of
Christmas paper used each year, 8,000
tonnes of the stuff, the equivalent of 50,000 trees, all
torn to bits in seconds and shoved into landfills to rot for
years. I don’t even want to think about the number of
obligatory Christmas cards – all the paper used, the ink,
the petrol and aviation fuels consumed to send bits of paper
around the world to people we otherwise never even think
about the rest of the year. But it does make for more
festive looking trash heaps, I suppose.
This isn’t a cute Disney scenario; we don’t get to fly
away in big rocket ships where we turn into lazy, pampered
Wall-E stays behind and cleans up our mess for us. We
die, all of us, slowly boiled alive and choking in our own
toxic filth. But according to far too many with vested
interests, global warming is a myth, and even if it’s real,
it’s not as bad as us pessimists are making it out to be..
Loony leftwing alarmists like, oh, say, the U.S. Fish and
Wildlife Service and the U.S. Geological Survey Office,
predict that at current rates of deaths due to loss of
habitat and food sources,
two-thirds of the polar bear population will disappear
by 2050, just around the time we run out of oil.. In 1987,
there were 1,197 polar bears in Canada’s Huston Bay. In
fifteen years, that dropped 22%, to 935. I find it
remarkable that someone like Sarah Palin has eyesight so
acute she could see Russia from her kitchen window, but
somehow can’t spot dying polar bears in her own backyard.
Okay, is everyone thoroughly depressed? You should be.
Now for the good news... Happy New Year, it’s 2010. We’ve
got twenty years left. Not a lot of time, but still... we’ve
got twenty years to save the planet. So Option One, embrace
the End of the World, consume to your heart’s delight
because there’s bugger all we can do about it anyway, party
like there’s no tomorrow... because there isn’t one. And
besides, isn’t it all just a sign that Jesus is about due to
come back and rescue his faithful patriotic consumers? Or,
Option Two – sod the
Copenhagen Accord and its non-binding, worthless
‘meaningful agreements’. Sod the oil-driven multinational
corporations whose only goal is money and power. Sod our
politicians, on both sides, self-deluded deniers and
spineless wankers the lot. Sod the religious right and their
apocalyptic death wish. Sod the naysayers who claim – albeit
largely correctly – that solar energy, wind energy, tidal
energy, etc., isn’t enough, too expensive and doesn’t
produce enough energy. We’ve got a huge variety of methods
at our disposal, right now. In 2010.
paint. If we simply painted all our roofs white and made
road pavements a lighter colour, that simple, low-tech
action, which doesn’t depend on any large scale government
funded geo-engineering projects, would offset global warming
effects of all the cars in the world for eleven years,
reducing carbon emissions as if we simply stopped driving
altogether. We don’t need to wait for any corporate or
government investment or high-tech equipment; all any of us
needs is a can of paint, a brush and a ladder. Not only will
it help the planet, it will help your pocket – lighter roofs
decrease the amount of energy costs needed to keep your
Facebook. A bunch of antipodal chocoholics with a
conscience and an internet connection has persuaded Cadbury
to stop using palm oil in its confectionary. Cadbury New
Zealand managing director Matthew Oldham not only admitted
the change was in direct response to consumer pressure,
including hundreds of letters and emails, but actually
apologised, admitting Cadbury’s use of palm oil was ‘wrong’
and hoping Kiwis would forgive the company.
air. The Air-Car, developed by an ex-Formula One
engineer, is ready to roll off production lines in one of
those countries currently out-polluting the United States,
India, running off compressed air, the CityCat clocking out
at 68 mph with a range of 125 miles. Its designer, Guy
Negre, has already signed deals with Germany, Israel and
South Africa, and a hybrid version is in development,
petrol-powered compressors refilling air tanks rather than
current hybrids with expensive, heavy and largely toxic
electric batteries. The technology already exists that would
see an air car able to cross the entire United States on a
single tank of petrol.
fad diets. We love our fad diets! Millions of people
slavishly scour the pages of celebrity magazines obsessed
with how the beautiful and the famous and even the downright
weird are eating. A few highly visible movie stars and
celebrity chefs to tout the benefits of the ‘low-carb’ diet
–carbon rather than carbohydrates – and it could impact on
the environment as well as decreasing cardiovascular disease
and strokes from obesity. Consumer pressure makes a
difference – once the largest global restaurant chain, the
corporate giant MacDonald’s has dropped to third place
behind Subway Sandwiches, which heavily promotes its
Morgan Spurlock’s film, Supersize Me, forced MacDonald’s
into eliminating super size options, and the fast-food chain
began offering salads and low-fat wraps and fruit on its
menu. MacDonald’s has switched to organic milk, makes coffee
from beans certified by the Rainforest Alliance, and uses
non-trans fat for fries. And that very rapid change came
about through the simplest of means – one mouth at a time.
Livestock accounts for one-fifth of the world’s total
global greenhouse emissions, and with China, India and other
developing nations aspiring to adopt western styles, it’s
only increasing. The entire world doesn’t have to become
vegan overnight, something that will never happen, nor would
necessarily be a good thing even if it did. But simply
cutting meat consumption by half would reduce greenhouse
emissions by 12%. The Bon Appetit Company celebrated its
Low Carbon Diet Day in April with some very trendy
recipes and events, while the city of Ghent has declared
every Thursday as a ‘meat-free’ day, with restaurants and
schools and even hospitals promoting vegetarian cuisine with
festive relish (pun intended). If every person in Flanders
alone, about as many as in the United Arab Emirates, gave up
meat for just one day a week, the CO2 saved would equal half
a million cars off the road. If China and India want to
emulate trendy western lifestyles, we need to alter our
We could run our cars on refined
left-over vegetable oil
from every MacDonald’s in the country, but even better,
Americans still possess the brains and ability to turn
garbage into ‘Oil 2.0’, a carbon-negative product made from
leftover corn stalks and wheat straw and woodchips and germ
poo that is interchangeable with fossil fuel derived petrol.
We have the existing technology – right now, not in twenty
years. And homemade at that – we can pry the grip of Middle
Eastern oil on our throats off one finger at a time.
Lots and lots of seaweed. Kelp grows phenomenally fast, up
meter a day,
and can be used for everything from medicine to cosmetics to
food to natural fertilizer to booze and even
a litre of fuel for every five kilograms of seaweed. Even
more interesting, seaweed can be cultivated using the carbon
dioxide emissions from industrial power plants – instead of
releasing CO2 gasses into the atmosphere, the gas if
filtered into a pool where it feeds microscopic seaweed,
which is then cultivated to turn into biofuel.
(Stay with me here...) These are incredibly simple low-tech
devices that have been used for fifty years in Alaska to
draw heat out of the ground to combat the thawing of
permafrost. The Trans-Alaska Pipeline has about 120,000 of
them. Basically, thermosiphons are little more than tubes
rammed halfway into the ground and filled with a gas such as
CO2. The top part exposed to cold winter air condenses the
gas inside the tube into a liquid, which falls into the
bottom of the tube, where the relative warmth of the ground
heats it back into gas and sends it back to the top of the
tube. This simple heat exchange mechanism cools the ground
around the tube so thoroughly it stays frozen even in
summer. Even better, thermotubes can be used as fencing, and
are more stable than traditional fence posts, which suffer
from ‘frost-jacking’, driven out of the ground by shifting
soil. Annual sales of thermosiphons have increased 50% in
the last five years, used to shore up mines, stabilize
railroads, buildings, utility poles, transmission towers,
roads and airport runways.
We can make
That’s not new technology, we’ve been making the stuff for
2,000 years, taking agricultural waste and cooking it into a
charcoal, and turning it into a soil enhancer that traps 70
times more carbon than non-treated soil, boosts food
production, and reduces deforestation. The technology for
turning agricultural waste into biochar through superheated
high-tech kilns while producing carbon-negative energy at
the same time already exists.
It doesn’t even need to be on an industrial scale. A
small American (American!!) company manufactures a compact,
mobile machine called the
Green Energy Machine, capable of processing three tonnes
of trash a day, enough to heat a 200,000 square foot
building housing more than 500 people by converting trash
into small pellets that are then converted into
carbon-negative electricity and gas heat, diminishing the
production of greenhouse gas by 540 tonnes a year.
grow plants. Grow some lettuce or strawberries in with
some flowers in a window box, if you don’t have a garden. If
you do have enough ground to make a garden, think about what
plants to grow – plant shade trees on the south side of your
house (or north side if you live on the southern half of the
planet), plant Mediterranean perennials which thrive without
a lot of water, and taste good, too – rosemary, sage,
oregano, thyme, lavender, and any local native plants, as
they’re likely to be under pressure from English roses and
cottage garden variety delphiniums. Hook up a rainbarrel to
your gutter. Plant carbon-eaters like clover rather than
high maintenance grass lawns. Grow agastache flowers to help
sustain bees and hummingbirds. Choose hardy plants that can
survive a range of weather conditions, magnolias and pines
can take a lot of battering.
read labels. Wealthy shoppers are increasingly worried
about finite food resources, and by 2030, supermarkets will
become the supreme arbitrators of what goes on our shelves,
from how much fresh water and energy was used to produce it,
to the packaging it’s in, and listing a breakdown of
ingredients on our labels, and where they came from, than
just information about carbon footprint.
We’re doing it all now. Even if our current politicians
only saw their personal political gains in the slogan Yes We
Can, we, the people, understood it for what it really means.
The trend in ‘people-powered’ conservation is already
playing a major role in saving the
kiwi in New Zealand, as well as many other rare and
native species under pressure of extinction. It’s the single
most important fundamental factor, possibly the only one we
need, to save our world and ourselves. So sod the
politicians. Sod the corporations. Sod the naysayers. We, as
individual human beings have plenty of tools and technology
we need – not tomorrow, not in ten years or fifty years, but
right now – to make a significant impact on climate change,
with not all that much effort or money or imagination or
even too drastic changes in our lifestyle.
Happy New Year, everyone. We’ve got twenty more New Years
left. Let’s make them all as happy as we can.
Photo: North Magnetic Pole
Moving Due to Core Flux!!!
Blue lines show Earth's northern
magnetic field and the magnetic north pole in an artist's rendering.
Picture courtesy Stefan Maus, NOAA NGDC
with Excerpts from
National Geographic News by
Richard A. Lovett in San Francisco published December 24, 2009
Earth's north magnetic pole
is racing toward Russia
at almost 40 miles (64
kilometers) a year due to
magnetic changes in the
planet's core, new research
The core is too deep for
scientists to directly
detect its magnetic field.
But researchers can infer
the field's movements by
tracking how Earth's
magnetic field has been
changing at the surface and
Now, newly analyzed data
suggest that there's a
region of rapidly changing
magnetism on the core's
surface, possibly being
created by a mysterious
"plume" of magnetism arising
from deeper in the core.
And it's this region that
could be pulling the
magnetic pole away from its
long-time location in
Canada, said Arnaud
Chulliat, a geophysicist at
the Institut de Physique du
Globe de Paris in France.
Magnetic north, which is
the place where compass
needles actually point, is
near but not exactly in the
same place as the geographic
North Pole. Right now,
magnetic north is close to
Canada's Ellesmere Island.
Navigators have used
magnetic north for centuries
to orient themselves when
they're far from
positioning systems have
largely replaced such
traditional techniques, many
people still find compasses
useful for getting around
underwater and underground
where GPS satellites can't
The magnetic north pole
had moved little from the
time scientists first
located it in 1831. Then in
1904, the pole began
shifting northeastward at a
steady pace of about 9 miles
(15 kilometers) a year.
In 1989 it sped up again,
and in 2007 scientists
confirmed that the pole is
now galloping toward Siberia
at 34 to 37 miles (55 to 60
kilometers) a year.
A rapidly shifting
magnetic pole means that
magnetic-field maps need to
be updated more often to
allow compass users to make
the crucial adjustment from
magnetic north to true
Geologists think Earth
has a magnetic field because
the core is made up of a
solid iron center surrounded
by rapidly spinning liquid
metal. This creates a
"dynamo" that drives our
facts about Earth's insides.)
Scientists had long
suspected that, since the
molten core is constantly
moving, changes in its
magnetism might be affecting
the surface location of
Although the new research
seems to back up this idea,
Chulliat is not ready to say
whether magnetic north will
eventually cross into
"It's too difficult to
forecast," Chulliat said.
Also, nobody knows when
another change in the core
might pop up elsewhere,
sending magnetic north
wandering in a new
Chulliat presented his
work this week at a meeting
of the American Geophysical
Union in San Francisco.
THE EARTH IS
The Earth supports us. Stripping her bare of all
her resources is like a baby sucking it's mother dry and then dying in the womb.
Ripping up her forests, dumping waste into her oceans, exploding nuclear missiles in the
South Pacific, and burning trash that we should be recycling is the same as turning on
your Mother and trying to kill her!!!
I hear you cry, 'but there's nothing I can do!'
There IS something you can do, whether it is only
recycling your waste. Paper, glass, aluminum and some plastics can all be
recycled. It doesn't take a great deal of effort to do this. If you are a
political activist write to you local politician and join an organization dedicated to the
care of the world. If you are attending college there may be a body concerned with
these things already in place, and if there isn't, start one. Don't buy things from
companies known to pollute, try not to pollute yourself.
Yes, all these things well take effort and time, but in
the long run if we all took just 5 minutes a day to do the right thing, we could stop the
world from being completely drained within the next generation.
Whenever you save energy--or use it more efficiently--you
reduce the demand for gasoline, oil, coal, and natural gas. Less burning of these fossil
fuels means lower emissions of carbon dioxide, the major contributor to global warming.
Right now the U.S. releases about 40,000 pounds of carbon dioxide per person each
year. If we can reduce energy use enough to lower greenhouse gas emissions by about 2% a
year, in ten years we will "lose" about 7000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions
Here are 20 simple steps that can help cut your annual emissions of carbon dioxide by
thousands of pounds. The carbon dioxide reduction shown for each action is an average
1.Run your dishwasher only with a full load. Use the energy-saving setting to dry the
dishes. Don't use heat when drying. Carbon dioxide reduction: 200 pounds a year.
2.Wash clothes in warm or cold water, not hot. Carbon dioxide reduction (for two loads a
week): up to 500 pounds a year.
3.Turn down your water heater thermostat; 120 degrees is usually hot enough. Carbon
dioxide reduction (for each 10- degree adjustment): 500 pounds a year.
HOME HEATING AND COOLING
4.Don't overheat or overcool rooms. Adjust your thermostat (lower in winter, higher in
summer). Carbon dioxide reduction (for each 2-degree adjustment): about 500 pounds a
5.Clean or replace air filters as recommended. Cleaning a dirty air conditioner filter can
save 5% of the energy used. Carbon dioxide reduction: About 175 pounds a year.
SMALL INVESTMENTS THAT PAY OFF
6.Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most-used lights.
Carbon dioxide reduction (by replacing one frequently used bulb): about 500 pounds a year.
7.Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket. Carbon dioxide reduction: Up
to 1000 pounds a year.
8.Install low-flow shower heads to use less hot water. Carbon dioxide reduction: Up
to 300 pounds a year.
9.Caulk and weatherstrip around doors and windows to plug air leaks. Carbon dioxide
reduction: Up to 1000 pounds a year.
10.Ask your utility company for a home energy audit to find out where your home is poorly
insulated or energy-inefficient. Carbon dioxide reduction: Potentially, thousands of
11.Whenever possible, walk, bike, carpool or use mass transit. Carbon dioxide
reduction (for every gallon of gasoline you save): 20 pounds.
12.When you buy a car, choose one that gets good gas mileage. Carbon dioxide
reduction (if your new car gets 10 mpg more than your old one): about 2500 pounds a year.
REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE
13.Reduce waste: Buy minimally packaged goods; choose reusable products over disposable
ones; recycle. Carbon dioxide reduction (if you cut down your garbage by 25%): 1000
pounds a year.
14.If your car has an air conditioner, make sure its coolant is recycled whenever you have
it serviced. Equivalent carbon dioxide reduction: Thousands of pounds.
15.Insulate your walls and ceilings; this can save about 25% of home heating bills.
Carbon dioxide reduction: Up to 2000 pounds a year.
16.If you need to replace your windows, install the best energy-saving models.
Carbon dioxide reduction: Up to 10,000 pounds a year.
17.Plant trees next to your home and paint your home a light color if you live in a warm
climate, or a dark color in a cold climate. Carbon dioxide reduction: About 5000
pounds a year.
18.As you replace home appliances, select the most energy-efficient models. Carbon
dioxide reduction (if you replace your old refrigerator with an efficient model): 3000
pounds a year.
SCHOOLS, BUSINESS, AND COMMUNITIES
19.Reduce waste and promote energy-efficient measures at your school or workplace. Work in
your community to set up recycling programs. Carbon dioxide reduction (for every
pound of office paper recycled): 4 pounds.
20.Be informed about environmental issues. Keep track of candidates' voting records and
write or call to express concerns. Carbon dioxide reduction (if we vote to raise
U.S. auto fuel efficiency): Billions of pounds.
Ice reveals good news, bad news on climate
Experts find natural feedback mechanism, but say it's 'out of
Sun., April. 27, 2008
- Before humans began burning fossil fuels, there was an eons-long balance between carbon
dioxide emissions and Earth's ability to absorb them, but now the planet can't keep up,
scientists said on Sunday.
finding, reported in the journal Nature Geoscience, relies on ice cores taken from
Antarctica's Lake Vostok that contain air samples going back 610,000 years.
scientists for the last 25 years or so have suggested that some kind of natural feedback
mechanism regulates our planet's temperature and the level of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere. Those skeptical about human influence on global warming point to this, not
fossil fuel emissions, as the cause for recent climate change.
have provided the first observational evidence for the operation and efficacy of this
feedback, which reveals its essential role for stabilizing the Earths long-term
climate," the study authors wrote.
feedback mechanism has been thrown out of whack by a steep rise in carbon dioxide
emissions from the burning of coal and petroleum for the last 200 years or so, said
Richard Zeebe, a co-author of the report.
out of equilibrium'
"These feedbacks operate so slowly that they will not help us in terms of climate
change ... that we're going to see in the next several hundred years," Zeebe said by
telephone from the University of Hawaii. "Right now we have put the system entirely
out of equilibrium."
ancient past, excess carbon dioxide came mostly from volcanoes, which spewed very little
of the chemical compared to what humans activities do now, but it still had to be
ancient excess carbon dioxide a powerful greenhouse gas was removed from the
atmosphere through the weathering of mountains, which take in the chemical. In the end, it
was washed downhill into oceans and buried in deep sea sediments, Zeebe said.
analyzed carbon dioxide that had been captured in Antarctic ice, and by figuring out how
much carbon dioxide was in the atmosphere at various points in time, he and his co-author
Ken Caldeira, of the Carnegie Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University,
determined that it waxed and waned along with the world's temperature.
the carbon dioxide was low, the temperature was low, and we had an ice age," he said.
And while Earth's temperature fell during ice ages and rose during so-called interglacial
periods between them, the planet's mean temperature has been going slowly down for about
molecules in air The average change in the amount of atmospheric carbon dioxide over the
last 600,000 years has been just 22 parts per million by volume, Zeebe said, which means
that 22 molecules of carbon dioxide were added to, or removed from, every million
molecules of air.
Industrial Revolution began in the 18th century, ushering in the widespread human use of
fossil fuels, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has risen by 100 parts per
human activities are putting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere about 14,000 times as fast
as natural processes do, Zeebe said.
appears to be speeding up: the U.S. government reported last week that in 2007 alone,
atmospheric carbon dioxide increased by 2.4 parts per million.
natural mechanism will eventually absorb the excess carbon dioxide, Zeebe said, but not
for hundreds of thousands of years.
is a time period that we can hardly imagine," he said. "They are way too slow to
help us to restore the balance that we have now basically distorted in a very short period
View images from around the world that show signs of global warming.
at the edge
View images of Greenland, where coastal edges of its vast ice cap are melting at an
What future sea levels could mean for some of America's favorite places
How the Earth maintains a temperature conducive to life
Check out five far-out ideas on how to engineer a cooler Earth.
The National Science Foundation's Tom Wagner on why climate experts study Antarctica
Data shows five areas of concern
Study: More Arctic Fresh
A huge pool of fresh
water in the Arctic Ocean is expanding and could lower the temperature
of Europe by causing an ocean current to slow down, British scientists
said Sunday. Using satellites to measure sea surface height from 1995 to
2010, scientists from University College London and Britain's National
Oceanography Center found that the western Arctic's sea surface has
risen by about 15 centimeters since 2002.
The volume of
fresh water has increased by about 10 percent of all the fresh water
in the Arctic Ocean. The fresh water comes from melting ice and
river run-off. The rise could be due to strong Arctic winds
increasing an ocean current called the Beaufort Gyre, making the sea
surface bulge upwards. The Beaufort Gyre is one of the least
understood bodies of water on the planet. It is a slowly swirling
body of ice and water north of Alaska, about 10 times bigger than
Lake Michigan in the United States. Some scientists believe the
natural rhythms of the gyre could be affected by global warming,
which could have serious implications for the ocean's circulation
and rising sea levels. Climate models have suggested that wind
blowing on the surface of the sea has formed a raised dome in the
middle of the Beaufort Gyre, but there have been few in-depth
studies to confirm this. If the wind changes direction, which
happened between the mid-1980s to mid-1990s, the pool of fresh water
could spill out into the rest of the Arctic Ocean and even into the
north Atlantic Ocean, the study said. This could cool Europe by
slowing down an ocean current coming from the Gulf Stream, which
keeps Europe relatively mild compared with countries at similar
latitudes. "Our findings suggest that a reversal of the wind could
result in the release of this fresh water to the rest of the Arctic
Ocean and even beyond," said Katharine Giles at UCL's Center for
Polar Observation and Modelling and lead author of the study,
published in the journal Nature Geoscience. The team plans to
investigate further the relationship between sea-ice cover and wind
New Warning On Arctic Ice Cap Melting
Satellite Images Show Volume Of Sea Ice At
Summer's End Was Half That Of 2003
WASHINGTON, Dec. 13, 2007
An already relentless melting of the
Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could
mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One speculates that summer sea
ice might be gone in just five years.
Greenland's ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and
the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer's end was half what it was just four years earlier,
according to new NASA satellite data obtained by The Associated Press.
"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the
government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.
Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the
Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of
This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said:
"At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by
2012, much faster than previous predictions."
So scientists in recent days have been asking themselves
these questions: Was the record melt seen all over the Arctic in 2007 a blip amid
relentless and steady warming? Or has everything sped up to a new climate cycle that goes
beyond the worst case scenarios presented by computer models?
"The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming,"
said Zwally, who as a teenager hauled coal. "Now as a sign of climate warming, the
canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines."
It is the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels
that produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, responsible for man-made global
warming. For the past several days, government diplomats have been debating in Bali,
Indonesia, the outlines of a new climate treaty calling for tougher limits on these gases.
What happens in the Arctic has implications for the rest of the world. Faster melting
there means eventual sea level rise and more immediate changes in winter weather because
of less sea ice.
In the United States, a weakened Arctic blast moving south to collide with moist air from
the Gulf of Mexico can mean less rain and snow in some areas, including the
drought-stricken Southeast, said Michael MacCracken, a former federal climate scientist
who now heads the nonprofit Climate Institute. Some regions, like Colorado, would likely
get extra rain or snow.
More than 18 scientists told the AP that they were surprised
by the level of ice melt this year.
"I don't pay much attention to one year ... but this year the change is so big,
particularly in the Arctic sea ice, that you've got to stop and say, 'What is going on
here?' You can't look away from what's happening here," said Waleed Abdalati, NASA's
chief of cyrospheric sciences. "This is going to be a watershed year."
(CBS/AP) Records for Arctic melt were shattered in 2007 in the following ways:
552 billion tons of ice melted this summer from the Greenland ice sheet, according to
preliminary satellite data to be released by NASA Wednesday. That's 15 percent more than
the annual average summer melt, beating 2005's record.
A record amount of surface ice was lost over Greenland this year, 12 percent more than the
previous worst year, 2005, according to data the University of Colorado released Monday.
That's nearly quadruple the amount that melted just 15 years ago. It's an amount of water
that could cover Washington, D.C., a half-mile deep, researchers calculated.
The surface area of summer sea ice floating in the Arctic
Ocean this summer was nearly 23 percent below the previous record. The dwindling sea ice
already has affected wildlife, with 6,000 walruses coming ashore in northwest Alaska in
October for the first time in recorded history. Another first: the Northwest Passage was
open to navigation.
Still to be released is NASA data showing the remaining Arctic sea ice to be unusually
thin, another record. That makes it more likely to melt in future summers. Combining the
shrinking area covered by sea ice with the new thinness of the remaining ice, scientists
calculate that the overall volume of ice is half of 2004's total.
Alaska's frozen permafrost is warming, not quite thawing yet. But temperature measurements
66 feet deep in the frozen soil rose nearly four-tenths of a degree from 2006 to 2007,
according to measurements from the University of Alaska. While that may not sound like
much, "it's very significant," said University of Alaska professor Vladimir
Surface temperatures in the Arctic Ocean this summer were the highest in 77 years of
record-keeping, with some places 8 degrees Fahrenheit above normal, according to research
to be released Wednesday by University of Washington's Michael Steele.
Greenland, in particular, is a significant bellwether. Most
of its surface is covered by ice. If it completely melted - something key scientists think
would likely take centuries, not decades - it could add more than 22 feet to the world's
However, for nearly the past 30 years, the data pattern of its ice sheet melt has
zigzagged. A bad year, like 2005, would be followed by a couple of lesser years.
According to that pattern, 2007 shouldn't have been a major melt year, but it was, said
Konrad Steffen, of the University of Colorado, which gathered the latest data.
"I'm quite concerned," he said. "Now I look at 2008. Will it be even warmer
than the past year?"
Other new data, from a NASA satellite, measures ice volume. NASA geophysicist Scott
Luthcke, reviewing it and other Greenland numbers, concluded: "We are quite likely
entering a new regime."
Melting of sea ice and Greenland's ice sheets also alarms scientists because they become
part of a troubling spiral.
White sea ice reflects about 80 percent of the sun's heat
off Earth, NASA's Zwally said. When there is no sea ice, about 90 percent of the heat goes
into the ocean which then warms everything else up. Warmer oceans then lead to more
"That feedback is the key to why the models predict that the Arctic warming is going
to be faster," Zwally said. "It's getting even worse than the models
NASA scientist James Hansen, the lone-wolf researcher often called the godfather of global
warming, on Thursday was to tell scientists and others at the American Geophysical Union
scientific in San Francisco that in some ways Earth has hit one of his so-called tipping
points, based on Greenland melt data.
"We have passed that and some other tipping points in the way that I will define
them," Hansen said in an e-mail. "We have not passed a point of no return. We
can still roll things back in time - but it is going to require a quick turn in
Last year, Cecilia Bitz at the University of Washington and
Marika Holland at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado startled their
colleagues when they predicted an Arctic free of sea ice in just a few decades. Both say
they are surprised by the dramatic melt of 2007.
Bitz, unlike others at NASA, believes that "next year we'll be back to normal, but
we'll be seeing big anomalies again, occurring more frequently in the future." And
that normal, she said, is still a "relentless decline" in ice.
Meanwhile, European nations on Thursday threatened to boycott a U.S.-led climate meeting
next month unless Washington agrees to a deal mentioning numerical targets for deep
reductions in global warming gases.
The United Nations warned that time was running out for an agreement aimed at launching
negotiations for a successor to the Kyoto Protocol and the talks in Bali were in danger of
"falling to pieces."
The United States, Japan, Russia and several other governments refuse to accept language
in a draft document suggesting that industrialized nations consider cutting emissions by
25 percent to 40 percent by 2020, saying specific targets would limit the scope of future
The European Union and others say the figures reflect the
measures scientists say are needed to rein in global warming and head off predictions of
rising sea levels, worsening floods and droughts, and the extinction of plant and animal
Snowmelt In Antarctica Creeping Inland, Based On
20 Year Of NASA Data
(Sep. 24, 2007) On the world's coldest continent of Antarctica, the
landscape is so vast and varied that only satellites can fully capture the extent of
changes in the snow melting across its valleys, mountains, glaciers and ice shelves.
In a new NASA study, researchers using 20 years of data
from space-based sensors have confirmed that Antarctic snow is melting farther inland from
the coast over time, melting at higher altitudes than ever and increasingly melting on
Antarctica's largest ice shelf.
With a surface size about 1.5 times the size of the
United States, Antarctica contains 90 percent of Earth's fresh water, making it the
largest potential source of sea level rise. It is also a place where snow melting is quite
limited because even in summer, most areas typically record temperatures well below zero.
Nevertheless, NASA researchers using data collected from
1987 to 2006 found snow melting in unlikely places in 2005: as far inland as 500 miles
away from the Antarctic coast and as high as 1.2 miles above sea level in the
The 20-year data record was three times longer than
previous studies and reaffirmed the extreme melting irregularity observed in 2005. During
the same period, they also found that melting had increased on the Ross Ice Shelf, both in
terms of the geographic area affected and the duration of increased melting across
"Snow melting is very connected to surface
temperature change, so it's likely warmer temperatures are at the root of what we've
observed in Antarctica," said lead author Marco Tedesco, a research scientist at the
Joint Center for Earth Systems Technology cooperatively managed by NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md., and the University of Maryland at Baltimore County,
Baltimore. The study will be published on Sept. 22 in the American Geophysical Union's
Geophysical Research Letters.
The Special Sensor Microwave Imager radiometer aboard the
Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's satellites provided the researchers an update
on previous studies by showing evidence of persistent snow melting -- melting that occurs
for at least three days or for one consecutive day and night. As the sensors fly over
Antarctica, they measure the radiation naturally emitted by snow and ice at microwave
frequencies. Unlike visible sensors, Microwave instruments can also detect melting below
the snow surface.
"Microwave instruments are very sensitive to wet
snow and can see through clouds day and night, allowing us to separate melting from dry
snow to better understand when, where and for how long melting took place," said
Although the researchers observed less melting in some
locations on the continent during the 20-year period, melting increased in others such as
the Ross Ice Shelf. Increased snowmelt on the ice shelf surface can lead to melt ponds,
with meltwater filling small cracks. The liquid water puts pressure on the cracks causing
larger fractures in the ice shelf.
"Persistent melting on the Ross Ice Shelf is
something we should not lose sight of because of the ice shelf's role as a 'brake system'
for glaciers," said Tedesco. "Ice shelves are thick ice masses covering coastal
land with extended areas that float on the sea, keeping warmer marine air at a distance
from glaciers and preventing a greater acceleration of melting. The Ross Ice Shelf acts
like a freezer door, separating ice on the inside from warmer air on the outside. So the
smaller that door becomes, the less effective it will be at protecting the ice inside from
melting and escaping."
The study's results from the satellite data support
related research reporting a direct link between changes in near surface air temperatures
and the duration and geographic area of snow melting on Antarctica. These studies, when
taken together, indicate a relationship to climate change.
"Satellites have given us a remarkable ability to
monitor the melting trends of glaciers and ice shelves on this immense and largely unknown
continent, and to watch for unusual occurrences like those observed in 2005," said
co-author Waleed Abdalati, head of the Cryospheric Sciences Branch at NASA's Goddard Space
Flight Center. "Through this space-based perspective, we are really only just
beginning to understand the nature of the changes that are occurring in Antarctica, and
what these changes will mean for Antarctica's future contributions to sea level."
Adapted from materials provided by NASA/Goddard Space
NASA Finds Vast Regions of West Antarctica Melted
in Recent Past
A team of NASA and university scientists has
found clear evidence that extensive areas of snow melted in west Antarctica in January
2005 in response to warm temperatures. This was the first widespread Antarctic melting
ever detected with NASA's QuikScat satellite and the most significant melt observed using
satellites during the past three decades. Combined, the affected regions encompassed an
area as big as California.
Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., and Konrad Steffen,
director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the
University of Colorado, Boulder, led the team. Using data from QuikScat, they measured
snowfall accumulation and melt in Antarctica and Greenland from July 1999 through July
Image right: NASA's QuikScat satellite detected extensive areas of
snowmelt, shown in yellow and red, in west Antarctica in January 2005. Image credit:
The observed melting occurred in multiple distinct
regions, including far inland, at high latitudes and at high elevations, where melt had
been considered unlikely. Evidence of melting was found up to 900 kilometers (560 miles)
inland from the open ocean, farther than 85 degrees south (about 500 kilometers, or 310
miles, from the South Pole) and higher than 2,000 meters (6,600 feet) above sea level.
Maximum air temperatures at the time of the melting were unusually high, reaching more
than five degrees Celsius (41 degrees Fahrenheit) in one of the affected areas. They
remained above melting for approximately a week.
"Antarctica has shown little to no warming in the
recent past with the exception of the Antarctic Peninsula, but now large regions are
showing the first signs of the impacts of warming as interpreted by this satellite
analysis," said Steffen. "Increases in snowmelt, such as this in 2005,
definitely could have an impact on larger-scale melting of Antarctica's ice sheets if they
were severe or sustained over time."
The satellite's scatterometer instrument sends radar pulses to the ice sheet surface,
measuring the echoed pulses that bounce back. When snow melts and then refreezes, it
changes to ice, just as ice cream crystallizes when it is left out too long and is then
refrozen. QuikScat can differentiate this icy fingerprint in the snow cover and can map on
a continental scale the extent of strong snowmelt and the subsequently formed ice layer.
Available ground station measurements validate the satellite results.
The 2005 melt was intense enough to create an extensive ice layer when water refroze after
the melt. However, the melt was not prolonged enough for the melt water to flow into the
"Water from melted snow can penetrate into ice sheets through cracks and narrow,
tubular glacial shafts called moulins," Steffen said. "If sufficient melt water
is available, it may reach the bottom of the ice sheet. This water can lubricate the
underside of the ice sheet at the bedrock, causing the ice mass to move toward the ocean
faster, increasing sea level."
Changes in the ice mass of Antarctica, Earth's largest
freshwater reservoir, are important to understanding global sea level rise. Large amounts
of Antarctic freshwater flowing into the ocean also could affect ocean salinity, currents
and global climate.
Nghiem said while no further melting had been detected through March 2007, more monitoring
is needed. "Satellite scatterometry is like an X-ray that sees through snow and finds
ice layers beneath as early as possible," he said. "It is vital we continue
monitoring this region to determine if a long-term trend may be developing."
QuikScat data are helping scientists better understand how Antarctica's and Greenland's
ice sheets gain or lose mass. "We need to know what's coming in and going out of the
ice sheets," Nghiem said. "QuikScat data, combined with data from NASA's IceSat
and Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment satellites, along with aircraft and ground
measurements, all contribute to more accurate estimates of how the polar ice sheets are
The study, "Snow Accumulation and Snowmelt Monitoring in Greenland and
Antarctica," appears in the recently published book "Dynamic Planet."
A team of UK researchers claims to have new evidence that
global warming is melting the ice in Antarctica faster than had previously been thought.
Scientists from the British Antarctic Survey (Bas) say
the rise in sea levels around the world caused by the melting may have been
It is thought that over 13,000 sq km of sea ice in the
Antarctic Peninsula has been lost over the last 50 years.
The findings were announced at a Climate Change
Conference in Exeter.
Rising sea level
Professor Chris Rapley, director of (Bas), told the
conference that Antarctica could become a "giant awakened", contributing heavily
to rising sea levels.
Melting in the Antarctic Peninsula removes sea ice that
once held back the movement of glaciers. As a result, glaciers flow into the ocean up to
six times faster than before.
The other region in the continent affected by the changes
is West Antarctica, where warmer sea water is thought to be eroding the ice from
In 2001, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC) predicted the average global sea level would rise by between 11cm (4.3in) and 77cm
(30.3in) by 2100 - but forecast that Antarctic's contribution would be small.
Over the past five years, studies have found that melting
Antarctic ice caps contribute at least 15% to the current global sea level rise of 2mm
(0.08in) a year.
It is not known whether the melting is the result of a
natural event or the result of global warming.
Professor Rapley said that if this was natural
variability, it might be expected to be taking place in only a handful of places. However,
studies had shown that it was happening in all three major ice streams in West Antarctica,
Several major sections of Antarctic ice have broken off
in the past decade.
The Larsen A ice shelf, which measured 1,600 sq km, broke
off in 1995. The 1,100 sq km Wilkins ice shelf fell off in 1998 and the 13,500 sq km
Larsen B dropped away in 2002.
WHATS WRONG WITH DESTROYING
THE OZONE AND MELTING ALL THE ICE AT THE POLES?
There are some idiots out there who say that we have
nothing to really worry about, that global warming can't possibly harm us, that the hole
in the ozone over antartica is not a problem since cars and lightning creates ozone, so it
will replenish itself. AND that big business has a right to be excused from
polluting since it creates jobs. AND that it is somehow not right for people to make
money from protecting and improving the environment. Wrong!!!
Climate leaves indelible evidence in the geologic record.
That means that by carefully studying core samples of ice (the most accurate medium) and
earth, we can get a very accurate indication of the climate of the area the core was taken
from for the time period the strata corresponds to. Since we can and have studied core
samples covering millions of years, it is indeed possible to make reasonable models of how
the climate is changing and how our actions as a species are affecting this change.
The geologic record shows no other period in earths history when the planet warmed as
rapidly as it is now. Yes it has gotten much hotter than this in past ages, but it is the
rate of change that is of concern here. Typically, change occurs over a longer
period of time giving nature a chance to adapt and find new ways of maintaining life on
the planet. The current rate of change is too fast for this slow process. Maybe nature
will make sudden changes to overcome this rapid change, maybe not. Maybe we can survive
this and maybe not. Does the earth care if we do or don't? Not really. Do we really want
to risk an uncertain future where our children may suffer and not realize the same quality
of life we take for granted? Not me. Not when we have alternative means to do the things
that currently use materials, which are threatening the future.
"Well if the ice melts at the poles, there isn't a problem since when Ice melts, it
doesn't raise the level of water. Simple science rules... "
Wow, what high school did you go to? Maybe you were
cutting class to smoke Pot the day they taught displacement in science class. Here is a
simple experiment for you to try. Yes do this at home. Fill two glasses with ice. Then
pour water into one until all the ice floats and the other only half way, with the top of
the ice well above the level of the water. With a marker, draw a line at the water level
on each glass. Now, cover the top with plastic wrap to prevent evaporation from affecting
the results. Leave both glasses on the counter for an hour. When the ice is all melted
take a look at the results. The glass that had the floating ice has no change in the water
level. The glass where the ice was piled up above the water shows that the water level is
above the line.
So why is this you may ask? Simple displacement in the case of the floating ice. The ice
may have less density than the water but has the same mass. That means that the ice will
displace the same volume of water as it will when melted. Why did the water in the other
glass rise? Because not all the ice was in the water. So no displacement occurred.
As the ice melted it drained into the water adding to the total volume. This caused the
water to rise above the line you drew earlier. In both cases the amount of water in the
glass remained the same but the relationship between the water and the ice was different.
So how does this apply to the earth and global warming? The ice at the North Pole floats
on the water and therefore will have no effect on water levels. But the ice on Greenland
and on Antarctica is partly on the land and so isn't fully displacing the water. As it
melts it will drain into the ocean just as the ice in the glass that was half filled with
water. So you see the overall effect will be a rise in water level. This is Jr. High
Next, the Ozone. To start with, the ozone hole is over the South Pole and extends over
Australia in their summer. Ozone blocks UV radiation, which damages organic tissue. This
ozone is very slow to make. Yes, ozone is created by thunderstorms. However much of
the ozone generated doesn't last very long. In the atmosphere, ozone is short lived. This
is why the ozone created by internal combustion engines will not help replenish the ozone
layer. It never gets to the upper layers of the atmosphere before breaking down. Since we
have alternative means of doing the things we want that will not destroy the ozone, why
don't we just use these instead?
Also if you were thinking "so what if the ozone disappears we can use sun block or
stay indoors," think about this. If the rock a building stands on turns to sand and
can no longer support the foundation of the building, the building comes down. Do you want
to be on the top floor of this building? You are. We as a species are on the top floor of
the building of life. If the plankton in the oceans (especially the Antarctic Ocean) and
the bacteria on the soil die, then so too will all life on earth. They are the bottom of
the food chain. If they die then the next level dies. Then the next and so on. (plankton
die then fish die then we die) You say you don't like fish? How about if the
bacteria in the soil dies, then the earthworms will die, then insects which live in the
soil dies, then small animals which eat the insects die then large insects die then
animals which eat the large insects die, then larger animals which eat smaller animals
die, then we die. You say you are a vegetarian? The nitrogen fixing bacteria
in the soil dies, the bacteria which helps earthworms live, dies, the bacteria that breaks
down vegetation and returns it to rebuild the soil, dies, eventually the vegetation
becomes sterile and the vegetation leaches all the nitrogen out of the soil. All
vegetarians, frutarians, lacto vegetarians, and omnivores will die if the ozone
disappears. There is neither sun block to prevent that nor any indoor facility big enough
to protect these most essential members of the building of life.
And what's wrong with people making a buck on environmentalism? Are you some kind of
You think it's ok for Big Business to make money from
destroying the environment, but working to curb its destruction should be done for free?
If I come up with another way of doing something and can make a buck from it,
then that is capitalism. If it helps save the world, wonderful! Who has any right to
condemn my motivation for the product?"
Melting Ice to Hit People
Global warming that is melting ice and snow
will affect hundreds of millions of people around the globe by disrupting rivers in Asia,
thawing Arctic ice and raising ocean levels, a UN report said.
Glaciers from the Himalayas to the Alps are in retreat,
permafrost from Alaska to Siberia is warming and snowfalls are becoming unreliable in many
regions, according to a Global Outlook for Ice and Snow written by more than 70 experts.
And it said the changes, widely blamed on greenhouse gases released by mankind's
use of fossil fuels, would be felt far from polar regions or high mountain areas.
"Fate of the world's snowy and icy places as a
result of climate change should be cause for concern in every ministry, boardroom and
living room across the world," said Achim Steiner, head of UN Environment Program of
the 238-page report.
He said the findings were relevant "from Berlin to
Brasilia, and Beijing to Boston".
The report said that about 40 per cent of the world's 6.5
billion population would be affected by retreating glaciers in Asia - snow and ice in the
Himalayas, for instance, help regulate river flows and irrigation from China to India.
And a one-metre rise in world sea levels, linked to expansion of the oceans as they
warm and melt from glaciers, could cause almost $US950 billion ($A1.15 trillion) in damage
and expose 145 million people to flooding, it said.
Oceans rose by almost 20cm last century and UN studies
project a further rise of 18-59cm by 2100. Asia would be hard hit by rising seas,
especially low-lying Bangladesh, the report said. The snow and ice report was
released on the eve of World Environment Day, and two days before a June 6-8 summit by the
leaders of the world's top eight industrial powers in Germany.
"The world cannot afford simply to discuss climate
change. It has to act," Steiner said.
The report said there were big uncertainties about the
fate of ice on Greenland and Antarctica, the world's main stores of fresh water.
Greenland contains enough ice to raise sea levels by 7 metres, Antarctica by about 60
And less snow is falling in many areas, with a 1.3 per
cent decline per decade since the 1960s in the northern hemisphere. A one degree
Celsius temperature rise would raise the snow line in the Alps by 150 metres, for
instance, damaging ski resorts and tourism.
And lifestyles were already changing. Hunters in
Qeqertarsuaq in western Greenland were turning to use motorboats rather than dogsleds
because the sea ice was no longer solid. Polar bears are among animals under threat
from shrinking ice.
The report said the rise in temperatures "has not
yet resulted in widespread permafrost thawing."
Even so, the report said the quantity of methane being
released from permafrost in Siberia may already be five times more than previously
supposed. Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas stored in vast quantities in
Among benefits from melting ice, a northern sea route
along the coast of Russia could be open for 120 days a year by 2100 against 30 now.
And the report pointed to dangers of abrupt floods linked
to a melting of glaciers that have blocked lakes. In 1998 a so-called glacier lake
outburst flood killed more than 100 people in Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
Big area of Antarctica melted in
'05, study finds
Water later refroze, but incident seen as potential
NASA/JPL via AFP-Getty Images
This satellite-based image of Antarctica shows areas in
red and yellow that were found to have warmed significantly in January 2005.
Extensive areas of snow melted in west
Antarctica in January 2005 in response to warm temperatures, researchers reported in a new
study, describing the melt as "the most significant" ever observed in the 30
years satellites have been used to track such changes.
affected areas encompass a combined area as big as California.
has shown little to no warming in the recent past with the exception of the Antarctic
Peninsula, but now large regions are showing the first signs of the impacts of warming as
interpreted by this satellite analysis," study co-leader Konrad Steffen said in a
in snowmelt, such as this in 2005, definitely could have an impact on larger scale melting
of Antarctica's ice sheets if they were severe or sustained over time," added
Steffen, director of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at
the University of Colorado, Boulder.
percent of the world's fresh water is locked in the thick ice sheets that cover west and
east Antarctica. If just the smaller west sheet melts, scientists estimate it could cause
a 15-foot rise in world sea levels. Even a three-foot sea level rise could cause havoc in
coastal and low-lying areas around the globe, according to a recent World Bank study.
used a NASA satellite to measure snowfall accumulation and melt in Antarctica and
Greenland from July 1999 through July 2005. The satellite sent radar pulses to the ice,
measuring the echoed pulses that bounce back. That data was compared over time to detect
changes. Ground station measurements validated the satellite results.
In a statement, NASA said that the melt was widespread, "including far inland, at
high latitudes and at high elevations, where melt had been considered unlikely. Evidence
of melting was found up to 560 miles inland from the open ocean, farther than 85 degrees
south (about 310 miles from the South Pole) and higher than 6,600 feet above sea
included a vast stretch of the Ross Ice Shelf abutting the Transantarctic Mountain range.
That shelf is the size of Texas and would lead to major glacier flows into the ocean were
it to collapse.
area is right at the border between the ice shelf and the mountain, it's kind of like a
hinge," study co-leader Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena,
Calif., told msnbc.com. "If that hinge is weakened it might have a dynamic effect on
the ice shelf. It's still a hypothesis, but it's something we have to look into."
to the overall melting, NASA added that "maximum air temperatures at the time of the
melting were unusually high, reaching more than 41 F in one of the affected areas. They
remained above melting for approximately a week" in January, which is the height of
the Southern Hemisphere's summer.
melt was not long enough for the melt water to flow into the ocean but it did create an
extensive ice layer when water refroze after the melt. And some of that melt water is
thought too have made its way through ice cracks, possibly affecting how ice sheets move.
from melted snow can penetrate into ice sheets through cracks and narrow, tubular glacial
shafts called moulins," Steffen said. "If sufficient melt water is available, it
may reach the bottom of the ice sheet. This water can lubricate the underside of the ice
sheet at the bedrock, causing the ice mass to move toward the ocean faster, increasing sea
While no further melting had been detected through March 2007, the researchers said it
could well happen again.
is vital we continue monitoring this region to determine if a long-term trend may be
developing," Nghiem said. "We need to know what's coming in and going out of the
peer-reviewed study, "Snow accumulation and snowmelt monitoring in Greenland and
Antarctica," appears in the just published book "Dynamic Planet."