Monday, April 25, 2005

Glacial Creeps

More and More on Climate Change.

Climate Change: Hundreds of Antarctic Glaciers In Retreat, Says Study

PARIS -- Scientists have issued a fresh warning about the effect of climate change on Antarctica, saying that more than 200 coastal glaciers are in retreat because of higher temperatures.

Of the 244 marine glaciers that drain inland ice on the Antarctic peninsula, a region previously identified as vulnerable to global warming, 87 percent have fallen back over the last half century, according to research by British experts.

Using 2,000 aerial photos dating back to the late 1940s and 100 satellite pictures, experts from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) compiled a record of glacier-ice shelves and tidewater glaciers along the peninsula -- the tongue of land that juts 800 kilometers (500 miles) northwards out of continental Antarctica.

Glacier-ice shelves are floating glaciers on the shoreline that are still connected to the land glaciers from which they flowed.

Tidewater glaciers rest on rock and break off into the ocean when they reach the water's edge.

Over the last half century, during which time regional temperatures have risen by around 2 C (3.6 F), these glacier fronts have reversed direction, the authors note in a study published on Friday in the US weekly journal Science.

Antarctica, the fifth largest continent in the world, contains more than 90 percent of the world's ice, most of it above sea level.

If even a small part of this cap melts, rising sea levels could drown low-lying island states, cities and deltas.

I still know people who think that Climate Change is based on models.

They like to debunk the science by saying that the system is too complicated to be modeled. I even had one former utility executive tell me that because they weren't able to model the pollution flows in the Houston Ship Channel successfully, modeling the effect of CO2 in the environment was impossible.

This is the equivalent of saying,

Because I was not able to make the football team,

nobody can make the football team.

Another utility executive, who is now in charge of building a coal plant,

told me that 20 years ago,

he was told that the world was getting colder,

Now, they tell us it's getting warmer.

Therefore you can't believe either of them.

Right,

20 years ago, we had 2000 climate scientists,

representing the best of the global climate science community,

the Academies of Science of all major nations,

and the vast preponderance of scientific thought in general

issue countless reports and studies

warning of an impending cooling that will change life on earth

as we know it.

Somehow I don't remember that.

Neither does he.

Maybe what he is really saying is this,

Look, we're going to build this coal plant while we still can.

I consider that to be the moral equivalent of looting before a storm.

Nice going guys.



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4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Charlie Loving said...

What do the computer models say? Global-climate models run on the same computers that forecast the weather. Local forecasts predict the details, climate forecasts are for the big picture. There are lots of problems but the data is useful. All the models predict warming with differing temperature ranges.

Warming is already affecting wildlife; polar bears, seals, sea lions, songbirds, amphibians and reptiles. Our National Parks will suffer. Tourism will decline. Beaches will be less popular.

Agriculture will Suffer from an increase in insects and loss of efficency of pesticides. Plants that need cold will become less. Many legumes need cold or cool weather. Nature needs cold to control bugs.

The Kyoto agreement was the closest the world has come to a plan to fight global warming. There was a dividing up of burden among the industrail nations. Third world countries were left off the hook, which became a point of contention in the U.S. Congress. The U.S. rejection has not killed the idea however and a recent poll of Americans shows that the majority want the protocol signed, which is totlaly radical and goes against the grain of the Neocons.

The energy that leaks through the windows of our North Amercian homes is equal to the annual energy produced from the Alaskan pipeline oil.

Coal fired plants have added a added bonus of producing mercury that ends up in us and fish.

This month's Smithsonian has an article on coal mine fires that are adding to the mess. China leads in that realm, fires that can't be put out. There is one in Penna. that has been burning for years and years and may burn for another decade.

Greenhouse gasses keep us from freezing. We have increased the amount by burning fossil fuels. So we wil soon be sweating. The tundra is melting. Scientist have studied the past and have a handle on what happened sort of. Paleometerology is inexact to be sure but it is full of clues as to what chaged and what can change.

The ice is melting and if we keep dilly dallying around we are all going to be living in Death Valley.

Electricty production is a major source of global warming. What we need is a major policy shift to start producing more efficient energy. Coal is a major culprit. A change to heaven forbid Nuclear power would help. Wind, solar, tidal and geothermal are also cleaner ways to produce energy. Even switching to natural gas would do a lot to clean the air of greenhouse gasses.

More efficient cars could help too. Get rid of that Ferrari, Bentley, BMW 5401 and your audi s6 Avant. Buy a 61 mpg Honda Insight or the VW 42 mpg Beetle even the Jetta is a good choice at 42 mpg and if you have to go Detroit the Ford Focus gets 36 on the highway.

There is of course much more that is happening. A global methane fart could destroy us. A shift in the ocean currents could doom the planet.

But as they say, "It aint over til' the fat lady sings." And there may be time to save ourselves. It is like Pogo Possum said, "We have met the enemy and it is us."

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

These are people who think that they have no other choice than to move towards coal. They are not ignorant, they simply have no courage and unfortunately, no sense of responsibility to the greater good, the earth, and humanity in general.

And they are everywhere

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think I saw the fat lady come in the back door. So she's in the house.

12:06 PM  

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