Scientists find bigger than expected polar ice melt

There is no question that our climate has changed slightly compared to 20 years ago.  Most of the data points to increases of temperature and the most significant (and obvious if you are in the Arctic) is the diminished amount of ice in the Arctic Ocean.  While there is some question as to the cause of this melting (see my ocean currents article), there is little question that it is occurring.

This article discusses some of the observations that scientists have seen regarding the ice melt and some possible repercussions.  The article is somewhat refreshing though in that it focuses on what can be observed rather than focusing on what might be causing the warming.  Since it was so evenly reported, I felt it was of significant interest to my readers.


The accomplishments of George W. Bush

The blog “I think, therefore I rant” just put out a list of 100 accomplishments of the George W. Bush administration.  Actually, it went over 100 and did 112 just to be safe.

I thought my readers would be interested in the following:
48 – Katrina
51 – Drilling for oil
54 – National forest cleanup
57 – Carbon sequestration
58 – Mercury emissions
59 – Nuclear power
61 – Papah?naumoku?kea Marine National Monument
62 – Polar bear endangered list
66 – Kyoto treaty
68 – Ethanol production
83 – Law of the Sea Treaty (affects how we work with the Arctic Ocean if it has less ice on it).
93 – Interstate air quality
94 – Clear skies initiative


Scientists warn that there may be no ice at North Pole this summer

The Independent – June 27, 2008

There is a very real chance that there will be no ice at the North Pole this summer. This is probably being caused by a “perfect storm” of several events including a slight warming of the Arctic Ocean, a slight warming of the air above the ocean, a change in ocean currents, a change in prevailing winds and possibly even the ozone layer.  It is important to note that this does not mean that there is no ice in the Arctic Ocean as it appears that the water off the coast of Canada and Greenland will be ice covered.


UK explorer to measure effect of global warming on Arctic ice

International Herald Tribune – October 16, 2007

My first reaction when reading this article was “but aren’t we doing this already?” Obviously not but that is a shame. I repeat my often heard message that if we are going to spend trillions of dollars to reverse human induced global warming then we need to fully understand the true causes and effects of the phenomenon. Something as simple as mapping the ice on Greenland and in the Arctic seems like a good first step.

I give credit to Pen Hadow and his three-member team in conducting this research. I wonder what would happen if the poor guy had enough funds to launch a couple dozen three-member teams.


Follow-up: NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

A few days ago, I wrote about a new NASA study that suggests that the Arctic Ocean is reversing the circulation direction. The study theorized that the circulation direction was a major contributor of the melting of Arctic ice.

At the time that I wrote the article, there was very little analysis by other scientists on the study (still isn’t). So I reached out to several of the contributors at RealClimate and asked them what they thought.  Dr. Benestad replied to me and he has agreed to let me reproduce his comments here for all to learn from. I would like to publicly thank him for his willingness to help us understand this.


NASA Sees Arctic Ocean Circulation Do an About-Face

Jet Propulsion Laboratory – November 13, 2007

Here we go again! It seems like every time we turn around there is a new study that suggests that global warming is going to get worse or it is going to reverse. The only clear evidence that I can find is that the climate is so complex that we simply don’t understand it yet.

A team of scientists for NASA has released a study that suggests that the Arctic Ocean circulation is about to change directions. It appears to do this somewhat frequently although it is doubtful that we really understand what transpired prior to the middle of the 20th century.


35 Inconvenient Truths: The errors in Al Gore’s movie – Part 3 of 5

This is the third of a 5 part series reviewing the comments of the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI) in regards to “An Inconvenient Truth” (AIT).

You can read Part 1 of 5 here.
You can read Part 2 of 5 here.
You can read Part 4 of 5 here.
You can read Part 5 of 5 here.

ERROR 18 – I can’t find evidence for SPPI’s statement that the Arctic has increased  decreased in temperature 1 deg C in the last 60 years. SPPI falls victim here to the common Gore affliction of pointing out individual instances of information (ice bound ships) and assuming that this is conclusive data. I have called AIT out on this and I need to do the same with SPPI. Unless they can point to a reference for the temperature increase, I need to call this one spin.



Edge – August 14, 2007

I recently wrote about Dr. Dyson’s article on global warming. I found his analysis to be quite interesting even though he did meander into off topic conversations.

Alun Anderson wrote a rebuttal to the paper and it also merits consideration and contemplation. This is not a contest of votes, but rather a way for one to become educated in the various issues and arrive at a reasonable opinion.

It is unfortunate that Dr. Anderson does not directly repudiate many of Dr. Dyson’s discussions. Is this because they were true or because they were not worthy of his effort? It is not obvious in this article.


Does CO2 really drive global warming?

Chemical Innovation – May 2001

Interesting article that discusses if it is chemically and physically possible for carbon dioxide to be the catalyst for climate change. This article by a professor at Ohio State University, puts a very convincing argument out that it is not possible to come to this logical conclusion based on the molecular behavior of water (H2O) and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Rather than the rising levels of carbon dioxide driving up the temperature, the logical conclusion is that it is the rising temperature that is driving up the CO2 level. Of course, this raises a raft of questions, but they are all answerable. What is particularly critical is distinguishing between the observed phenomenon, or the “what”, from the governing mechanism, or the “why”. Confusion between these two would appear to be the source of much of the noise in the global warming debate.


Earth – melting in the heat?

BBC News – October 7, 2005

This article details some of the observed effects of global warming as well as some of the effects for the future.  It is quite light on scientific detail – just a discussion on the empirical observations that bring one to conclude that global warming is real.

Indigenous Arctic peoples will find their food stocks gone, while fresh water supplies in Asia and south America will disappear as the glaciers which provide them melt away; penguins, polar bears and seals will find their habitats gone, their traditional lives unliveable.

There is so much ice here [Antarctic] that if it all melted, sea levels globally would rise hugely – perhaps as much as 80m. Say goodbye to London, New York, Sydney, Bangkok, Rio… in fact, the majority of the world’s major cities.