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The Conveyor Belt is broken!?!?

I am shocked and dismayed! (Not really – just being a bit sarcastic and melodramatic)

One of the foundations of predicting the climate is that we have some idea of how water moves around the planet. That water can be in the form of water vapor or liquid water that is flowing in streams, lakes and the oceans. Since the Earth is approximately 2/3 water and water vapor is the single largest greenhouse gas, the way it acts is very important for understanding climate and predicting the future of climate.

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.

Ice melting across globe at accelerating rate, NASA says

CNN – December 16, 2008

This story about the rapid melting of ice in the major cold areas of the world (Greenland, Antarctica, and Alaska) needs to cause everyone concern. While the story doesn’t convincingly discuss the causality of the situation, it does point out that increased melting accelerates the planets warming due to loss of reflectivity of the “white” ice.

The article goes on to point out the increase of pine beetles which is theorized to be attributed to a warmer environment. It even goes so far as to predict the increase in sea level (ala Al Gore) by the end of the century based on this loss of ice.

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.

Open letter to the UN Secretary General

www.tech-know.eu – July 14, 2008

A group of 13 prominent scientists have written a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon requesting him to “redress the lack of scientific integrity of the UNs Climate Change Panel (IPCC) and to stop making reactionary and futile Climate Change recommendations that hold back the developing world.”

I am not going to reproduce the entire letter here as it is freely available in PDF format.  I will point out that these are not lightweight scientists.  Evidently the signatories are below and they include at least one Nobel Prize winner.

  • Piers Corbyn Astrophysicist & forecaster, WeatherAction, UK
  • Vincent Gray IPCC Expert Reviewer, Climate Consultant, NZ

Gore Delivers Remarks on Energy and the Climate

Washington Post – July 17, 2008

Mr. Al Gore recently gave a speech in Washington DC regarding energy.  While many in the blogosphere will call Mr. Gore “Pope Gore” and refer to environmentalists as a religion, in this case, I don’t think that Mr. Gore makes many of the outlandish comments which I have chastised him about. Most of his comments are regarding energy independence, the status of the technology of alternative fuels, and the balance of power.

He does make a few global warming references which are a little hard to defend. He implies that the fires in California are caused by manmade global warming – this is probably not true since California has been enjoying an unusually wet climate for several decades and it appears that this current drought is simply going back to status quo.

Reader questions – Part 4 of 4

This is the last of my series of articles based on the questions of one of my readers, Brittany.  Brittany sent me an email and asked 4 questions. I have broken up each of these questions into 4 different articles.  If other readers have specific questions regarding global warming, please drop me a note (you can find my contact information in the About page).

Question 4: I read that it will take hundreds of years for Arctic/Greenland glaciers to melt and close to a 1,000 years for West Antarctica to melt.  I don’t know if those facts are correct.  But if they are correct, why would the earth’s temperature increase 6 egress Celsius in the next 100 years?  That’s a very scary proposition if it’s true. 

Man-Made Global Warming: 10 Questions (PART 1 OF 2)

Human Events.com – December 20, 2007

I am not sure what gives Pat Sajak authority on the global warming issue but I shouldn’t throw stones since I am just a lowly blogger.  If you ask 100 people in the US, probably 5 will know Mr. Sajak and none will know me.  Of course the 5 that know him will likely say that he is Vanna White’s sidekick!

Pat had the guts to ask 10 questions about global warming. I will reproduce those questions here and then answer them to the best of my ability. These are the first 5 questions.  I will dig into 6-10 tomorrow.

1. What is the perfect temperature?

Will Global Warming Trigger Next Ice Age?

This article discusses a series of events that have already started that could cause the next ice age. This series of events is the same as the one that theories say caused the last ice age. It is an interesting series of events that seems just as likely as the world getting dramatically warmer. In fact, since many of the mechanisms are already in place, this likelihood seems even stronger.

I usually put the title of the article that I am referencing in the title of my post but in this case the title resides in a technical journal and it is so boring that I elected to write my own.  For the purposes of this discussion, I am referencing “Climate Control Requires a Dam at the Strait of Gibraltar” which was published by the American Geophysical Union on July 8, 1997 by the now Professor Emeritus Dr. R. G. Johnson.

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.