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New Milepost for Arctic Sea Ice Extent

There is a great article on Watts Up With That? that you should read.

This article misses out by not making a big enough distinction that weather is not climate and climate is not weather. The amount of ice in any given 2 or 3 year stretch has as much to do regarding global warming as the occassional all time high or low that is hit in Peoria, IL. I have talked about weather v. climate before but we always seem to go around to the same things.

Last year, there was a great deal of talk about Arctic Sea ice and the fact that it was vanishing. Very little talk at the time had to do with the currents under the ice (except for here). The end of the world was at hand though if you read some blogs!

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A Look Into Future Oceans for Shellfish Reasons

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a great article that studies the effect of the increased acidification of the ocean by an increase in carbon dioxide.

I know that many of my readers doubt that CO2 actually has changed the climate.  I also have doubts on this since the science is so ambiguous and so strongly relies on computer models.  However, the acidification of the ocean due to an increased absorption of carbon dioxide is chemistry and is not subject to fuzzy computer models and guesses. 

In case you question that the increase of CO2 is man-made and not natural – check out this article.

Some excerpts from WSJ:

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Global Warming Chief Among Threats to Coral Reefs

Environment News Service – July 7, 2008

image The degradation of coral life has been happening for quite some time.  I remember multiple articles on the effects of water pollution on coral life back in the 70s and 80s (before the Internet so I can’t point to those articles – sorry).

This article now includes global warming in that threat.  Since this is coming from the 11th International Coral Reef Symposium and the organization reportedly meets every 4 years then the problem is at least 44 years old!

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What is the baseline temperature? (Or: It matters to that one!)

I rarely argue or comment on the various comments on this site. I try to respect everyone’s opinions and give them free voice to share their thoughts on this site as long as it is respectful (if the comments aren’t respectful, I pull them).

In this case though, I want to answer a question that was posed in a comment. The question was great, and I appreciate the effort. Hopefully, I can shed a few thoughts on the subject that are worthwhile. The question, basically, is “What should be the baseline temperature for measuring variations that are man-made or natural?” (Follow the feed link to read the rest of the story).

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Ocean Map Charts Path of Human Destruction

ScieneNOW – February 14, 2008

While the cause or reality of global warming is frequently debated on this site and many others, the fact that humans can (and have) negatively impacted our environment is rarely challenged. There are innumerable examples of abuse or neglect across the planet even though there appears to be more of an understanding of this activity. If you read this site regularly (or occasionally) you are likely concerned with the environment to some degree and this study will be interesting to you.

This article points to a study that covers the impact that human activity has had on the oceans. It makes a scary claim that humans have severely compromised 40% of the water ecosystems! This is potentially a bigger problem than global warming which only potentially threatens some beach-front properties.

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Study: Climate change could cost economy billions

Jacksonville Business Journal – December 14, 2007

There has been a great deal of analysis on the costs of curbing emissions to the US economy but very little in analysis on a local scale of the costs of the change in climate if global warming continues. This study allows for causation to be a mixture of natural and human and doesn’t allocate responsibility to either side.

There are a few things in the article that don’t appear to be substantiated.

  • pointing to Ponte Vedra Beach as an indicator of the bad things to come for Florida seems like a red herring. Does the study really think any changes at that particular beach are due to the changes in the climate to date? Ocean levels have not increased that dramatically compared to 2 or 3 decades ago
  • there is quite a bit of counter-proof regarding increased hurricane activity. I have written on this several times.

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UN issues ‘final wake-up call’ on population and environment

International Herald Tribune – October 25, 2007

This article almost makes you want to put a gun to your head! No, I absolutely do not condone suicide or violent behavior but this article will not make you feel good about life. I almost suggest that you watch an episode of Barney when you get done reading just to make you feel better.

The UN recently released its Global Environmental Outlook and it is not a pretty picture. Basically, the UN is saying that there are too many people out there and we are using more basic resources than the planet can sustain. I write about this in a global warming site simply because if human’s are causing global climate change than it is likely due to the problems listed in this report as well.

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Species Explosion

Smithsonian.com

I have no idea if this is good news or bad. I only find it interesting that life continues to evolve even as the world changes. If you are an optimist you will say that this means that the dire predictions by many are false. If you are a negativist you will point out that this is terrible that potentially man is causing an unnatural evolution.

I tend to be a centrist and try to find the middle for all things. So in this case, I think it is wonderful that the animal and plant kingdoms will find a way to thrive even if man is potentially killing other types of life off. According to the theory of evolution, life has always been evolving to accentuate the ability to survive – this is simply one more point on the curve. I also find it sad that some species will cease to exist due to this change but acknowledge that extinction is part of the cycle of evolution.

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From Wales, a box to make biofuel from car fumes

Reuters – July 19, 2007

If this works out, it is very cool. This is a double whammy – capture emissions and grow algae for the production of bio-diesel.  While the process of making bio-diesel can be quite expensive, from an energy perspective, if we can rapidly increase the growing of the raw materials then it could make a big difference.

I tend to be a little skeptical on this since it seems like there is a “revolutionary” process announced every 3-4 months.  Many of these processes make great headlines but then die away quickly as the real analysis sets in.

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Scientists Rally Around NASA Chief After Global Warming Comments

E-Wire – June 1, 2007

I was originally sent this as a press release.  Since I currently don’t make a habit of putting press releases on my site, I will reference the release on another site and, as typical, give what I think are the highlights. I would be interested in hearing from you on your thoughts of me including press releases in their totality.  I would tag them as a separate category. Either leave a comment here or drop me a note at soshaughnessey AT Yahoo DOT com.

This is a fairly big event in the scientific community. It is fairly common to find statements from scientific skeptics saying that there are more skeptics out there but they are afraid of upsetting the establishment.  The establishment they most frequently mention is the government.

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