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Author Topic: Siberia's rapid thaw causes alarm
Jimmy Brogan
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posted 11 August 2005 09:29 AM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Siberia's rapid thaw causes alarm

quote:
The huge expanse of western Siberia is thawing for the first time since its formation, 11,000 years ago.

The area, which is the size of France and Germany combined, could release billions of tonnes of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

This could potentially act as a tipping point, causing global warming to snowball, scientists fear.

The situation is an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming," researcher Sergei Kirpotin, of Tomsk State University, Russia, told New Scientist magazine.



From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 11 August 2005 10:08 AM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Ominous development to be sure.

I'm sure the Bush-US government response will be 'well, too late to do anything about it anyway, let's keep making money until it all goes to hell.'

I wonder if they really believe they can insulate themselves from the effects of what may be just over the horizon.


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Geneva
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posted 11 August 2005 10:15 AM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
well, let us see:
there is plenty of skeptical data about polar warming and the cyclical or anticyclical reasons for the -- including often in the news reports themselves

I remember last February the New York Times ran a big weekend thumbsucker about the Antarctic, and how one entire shelf was going to come unglued, etc. Very disturbing.

but then, digging into the various graphs etc, way below the big headline and ominous lede, in 8pt type, you found this factoid:
mean temperatures in Antarctica have been dropping for 30 years

repeat: MEAN TEMPERATURES HAVE BEEN DROPPING DOWN THERE; it's getting colder !

thru the magic of copyediting, and using its own reported facts, the New York Times headline and subhed could be rewritten more accurately as:

ANTARCTIC GETS COLDER IN MID-TERM TREND
Curious Ice movements Remain Subject to Study: Scientists

[ 11 August 2005: Message edited by: Geneva ]


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 11 August 2005 10:34 AM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Mm. Polar warming or whatever, actually, there's a massive, unprecedented scientific consensus on the reality of global warming and its causes. I may not have the figures exactly right, but as I recall, but the ocean down to a depth of 500m is warmer by 0.5 degrees celsius now than it was 50 years ago. This is a MASSIVE increase in stored thermal energy. In northern Canada and Siberia the thawing of the permafrost is very real.The windows for opening ice roads are shorter and shorter -- this year, by mid February lots of ice roads still hadn't opened. Really, you can keep going. There is a wealth of scientific and practical experience that puts the global warming hypothesis well into 3-sigma territory.
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 11 August 2005 11:53 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
First of all, Antarctica is unique. Ocean currents circulate around the continent in a roughly circular pattern (looking at a polar map projection). This oceanic circulation acts as a buffer, or a heat sink, so it's no surprise that Antarctica is responding more slowly than, say, the Arctic, or the Peace River area, to global climate change.

Secondly, Antarctica is warming up. On the basis of these two independent results, we find that the last 150 years have on average seen a slight warming. Thus, recent Antarctic cooling does not represent the long-term trend. However, Antarctica appears to have warmed less significantly than the Southern Hemisphere and globe as a whole.

Thirdly, the slower reaction of Antarctica does not negate nor nullify the clear warming trends recorded in the Arctic. There is still no compelling reason to bury one's head in the sand and claim that climate change isn't occuring. Beyond economic or ideological reasons, I suppose.

Fun fact: Melbourne Australia had snow today (yesterday?, tomorrow?) for the first time since 1951. This in no way negates the fact that the North Atlantic hurricane season is growing longer and longer. Snow down under!

[ 11 August 2005: Message edited by: Briguy ]


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 11 August 2005 12:09 PM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There is still no compelling reason to bury one's head in the sand and claim that climate change isn't occuring. Beyond economic or ideological reasons, I suppose.

umm, how about thinking that science and evidence, and not a political term -- "consensus" -- should guide us

climate change, fine, it probably occurs constantly in such a dynamic and chaotic system as the atmosphere;
but to wrap it all up with a bow and say, Take this obligatory interpretation or leave it: well, No.


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 11 August 2005 12:11 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I'll mark you down under the 'ideologue' column, mkay?
From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
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posted 11 August 2005 12:17 PM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
that's the old Galilean spirit !!
-- an open mind and respect for contradictory evidence! ( hmmm, where are those matches?? )

BTW, for reading, if you parlez-vous, I strongly suggest a feature in La Recherche (www.larecherche.fr), the leading general science magazine of France which, in its November 2002 issue, had a cover story titled ""Les poles fondent-ils vraiment"(Are the poles really melting?)

Very detailed and rigorous, and conclusions quite contrarian;
site unfortunately bills for individual archive items. When I get some time, I will freelance sumarize in English.

[ 11 August 2005: Message edited by: Geneva ]


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WingNut
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posted 11 August 2005 12:23 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Please move that to Blind Ideologue. Thank you.
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Briguy
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posted 11 August 2005 01:29 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fingerprints and Harbingers

quote:
Antarctic

Fingerprints
70. Antarctic Peninsula -- Warming 5 times global average. Since 1945, the Antarctic Peninsula has experienced a warming of about 4.5?F (2.5?C). The annual melt season has increased by 2 to 3 weeks in just the past 20 years.

73. Antarctica -- Ice shelf disintegration. The 770 square mile (1,994 km2) Larsen A ice shelf disintegrated suddenly in January 1995.

74. Antarctica -- Ice shelf breakup. After 400 years of relative stability, nearly 1,150 square miles (2,978 km2) of the Larson B and Wilkins ice shelves collapsed between March 1998 and March 1999.

122. Southern Ocean - Strong warming trend. Measurements from data recorders in the Southern Ocean waters around Antarctica show a 0.3?F (0.17?C) rise in ocean temperatures between the 1950s and the 1980s.

140. Antarctica - Decreasing Ice-thickness. The permanent ice cover of nine lakes on Signey Island has decreased by about 45% since the 1950s. Average summer air temperature has warmed by 1.8?F (1?C).

141. Antarctic Peninsula - Collapsing ice-shelf, January-February 2002. The northern section of the Larsen B ice shelf, an area of 1,250 square miles (3,250 km2), disintegrated in a period of 35 days. This was the largest collapse event of the last 30 years, bringing the total loss of ice extent from seven ice shelves to 6,760 square miles (17,500 km2) since 1974. The ice retreat is attributed to the region?s strong warming trend - 4.5?F (2.5?C) in the last 50 years.

Harbingers
32. Antarctica -- Penguin population decline. Adelie Penguin populations have shrunk by 33% during the past 25 years in response to declines in their winter sea ice habitat.


GLACIER RETREAT IN GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, MONTANA

Tropical Glacier Retreat

North Cascades: Glacier Retreat

Surface temperature measurements up the ying-yang


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 August 2005 02:26 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Real Climate has also dealt with the question of Antarctic temperatures.
quote:
...So what does this all of this imply? First, short term observations should be interpreted with caution: we need more data from the Antarctic, over longer time periods, to say with certainly what the long term trend is. Second, regional change is not the same as global mean change. Third, there are very reasonable explanations for the recent observed cooling, that have been recognized for some time from model simulations. However, the models also suggest that, as we go forward in time, the relative importance of increasing radiative effects, compared with atmosphere and ocean dynamic effects, is likely to increase. In short, we fully expect Antarctica to warm up in the future.

From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 11 August 2005 02:36 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
we need more data from the Antarctic, over longer time periods

quote:
An ice shelf which disintegrated in 35 days in 2002, had been a stable ice shelf 200 metres thick with a surface area of 3,250 square kilometres for at least 10,000 years.

Queens University Study with researchers from other universities.

So how much time is needed before we have enough data?


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Contrarian
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posted 11 August 2005 02:47 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, if you read the whole Real Climate article they talk about how Antarctic data is scarce. They are scientists; what do you expect them to say?

They have provided possible explanations for why cooling in some parts of the Antarctic does not prove that global warming is not happening. They are not supporting the global warming deniers; but they still want more data; of course they do.

It's not the scientists' fault that dimwitted global warming deniers will not admit a major climate change is taking place as a result of the stupid behaviour of human beings unless somebody can give them 100% proof.

The deniers are poor frightened creatures, demanding absolute certainty because they are terrified of having to admit that they have doubts. Much like right-wing extremists.


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WingNut
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posted 11 August 2005 02:59 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The Queen's report is pretty alarming and along with the one that started this thread it is fairly difficult to understand how anyone can continue to live in denial. But as evidenced by the above, they certainly can and do.
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Briguy
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posted 11 August 2005 04:36 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just to head this claim off before it's made, because it will be made:

Yes, yes. I know that the Arctic polar ice thickness has not decreased by 40%, as initially indicated by NASA satellite measurements. I know that the real number, ground truthed, is more like 12%. However, let me point out that a 12% decrease IS STILL A DECREASE IN ICE THICKNESS! Geez. Get with the program already.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Rufus Polson
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posted 11 August 2005 04:51 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

So how much time is needed before we have enough data?

I'd say until all the fossil fuels have been used and so nobody can make a profit off them any more.


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Contrarian
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posted 11 August 2005 05:57 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
CBC Report predicting twice as many hurricanes this year.
quote:
..."Although we have already seen a record-setting seven tropical storms during June and July, much of the season's activity is still to come," lead meteorologist Gerry Bell said in a release.

About one-third of the storms are expected to affect weather in the Atlantic provinces in some way before the season ends in November...



From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 August 2005 06:43 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Guardian report about Siberia melting. Longer and even scarier than the BBC one:
quote:
...The researchers found that what was until recently a barren expanse of frozen peat is turning into a broken landscape of mud and lakes, some more than a kilometre across.

Dr Kirpotin told the magazine the situation was an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming". He added that the thaw had probably begun in the past three or four years.

Climate scientists yesterday reacted with alarm to the finding, and warned that predictions of future global temperatures would have to be revised upwards...


In other words it may be worse than predicted.
Ian Sample explains more.
quote:
...Climate scientists fear that as the Siberian permafrost and similar "tipping points" around the world are triggered by warming, they will cause knock-on effects that make temperatures around the world rise faster and faster, leading to runaway global warming that could have devastating consequences for the world's economy and environment.

Scientists only identified such delicate, but potentially devastating, environmental systems in the past five years or so and because current models do not take them into account, it is highly likely that estimates of future warming will have to be revised upwards.


[ 11 August 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 11 August 2005 08:22 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
that's the old Galilean spirit !!
-- an open mind and respect for contradictory evidence! ( hmmm, where are those matches?? )

I rather cast you in the role of the Church, not "critical", as your self-praising style has it, but inquisitorially, cynically, and sophistically resisting the overwhelming evidence through red herrings, wild goose chases, subterfuge and any number of implausible "maybes" and auxiliary hypotheses to ward off the hypothesis that the evidence overwhelmingly supports. Climate shifts have historically been complex. As the global temperature shifts, it doesn't mean that every single location on earth finds its temperature shifting in the same direction. Therefore, isolated patches here and there don't necessarily constitute contradictory evidence. Rather, they call for a model that can accommodate them in the overall framework of climate change. If such a model could not be produced, we might have reason to ask further questions. There are several such models. Why don't you say what is wrong with them?

The point of mentioning the deep sea temperature is this -- deep sea temperatures don't fluctuate on short term basis. They are quite stable and shifts in them reflect long-term climatic trends. The ocean is storing vastly more thermal energy than it was a century ago. This is direct evidence of global warming. In fact, it IS global warming. And the most plausible explanation for that is the greenhouse gas theory.


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Albion1
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posted 11 August 2005 08:52 PM      Profile for Albion1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I found this article from
www.fromthewilderness.com


quote:
WARMING HITS 'TIPPING POINT': SIBERIA FEELS THE HEAT

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Thursday August 11, 2005
The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1546797,00.html

It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and - for the first time since the ice age - it is melting

A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.


[ 15 August 2005: Message edited by: audra trower williams ]


From: Toronto, ON. Canada | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
Américain Égalitaire
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posted 11 August 2005 09:32 PM      Profile for Américain Égalitaire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Albion: just a caution - it appears you may have posted an entire copyrighted article which is a no no. You may want to snip that.
From: Chardon, Ohio USA | Registered: Jan 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 11 August 2005 10:14 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Also, Albion, I alreaday linked to that article. As AE noted, you should cut it down; you are violating copyright right now.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 12 August 2005 12:46 AM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think what confuses people is the term "global warming" while correct it doesn't depict the true nature of the event. Global warming causes extreme weather, be that snow, or tsunami's. A more identifiable name would be Global Weather Abnormalities Due To Rising Temperature Of The Ground And Oceans. GWADTRTOTGAO Is still a little long.
I think we do see a lot more reportage of extreme weather(stpid 24 hour news has to find something to talk about)with idiots standing in hurricane desribing how windy it is...For once I would like to see them washed out to sea and have an end of the "daring reporter" on hurricanes. But at the same time shear volume of occurances is up, so it isn't all media hype. Most of the world has accepted this as fact, while a few flat earthers in canada and a good number south keep holding on in case they fall off the planets edge. I wish the US would recognize this. then we would all move forward on the issue. Sad how their influence is so strong as to make people think that what they see around them isn't happening.

From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
charlieM
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posted 12 August 2005 02:10 AM      Profile for charlieM     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Once I read something about the tiger population in India. Over the course of centuries the tigers were almost hunted to extinction, that was, until the gov't took it into its own hands. Now, each tiger is followed around by it's keeper who interferes nothing with it's life. If two tigers get into a fight, then so be it. If the tiger hurts himself, then so be it, thats nature. So, even though the tiger population went down due to human's "unnatural" intervention, the tigers are now left to nature. Why is the tiger population not "unnaturally" brought up to what it is suppossed to be if it was "unnaturally" put where it was?
All the life on this planet is trying to adapt to these "climate changes" that are occuring "unnaturally" and then we are trying to unnaturally put them back where they are. I think it is very possible that all the intervention, both negative and "positive" will put things too "out of whack" for our planet to handle. I think that it is even a bit egotisitcal to think that humans can beat our planet, nuclear weapons put aside.

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Rufus Polson
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posted 12 August 2005 03:10 PM      Profile for Rufus Polson     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Positive interventions?
What, have people been building CO2 sucking factories?
Or do you mean campaigns to burn less fossil fuels? Dude, that's not an intervention, that's a reduction of an intervention.

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Jacob Two-Two
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posted 12 August 2005 03:16 PM      Profile for Jacob Two-Two     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I think that it is even a bit egotisitcal to think that humans can beat our planet,

"Beating" the planet, however you might mean that, is not the concern. The concern is making it inhospitable for human life, or even merely pushing it to the point of a huge malthusian correction. Human beings are clearly capable of doing this, as historical examples like Easter Island show.


From: There is but one Gord and Moolah is his profit | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
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posted 12 August 2005 03:22 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
leading to runaway global warming that could have devastating consequences for the world's economy and environment.

Notice how the economy comes before the environment.

From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Fidel
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posted 12 August 2005 03:34 PM      Profile for Fidel     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:

Notice how the economy comes before the environment.

Ya, without the environment there is no economy.


From: Viva La Revolución | Registered: Apr 2004  |  IP: Logged
thorin_bane
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posted 12 August 2005 05:02 PM      Profile for thorin_bane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Bingo right from suzuki's mouth to fidels...there is no economy without the enviroment. We aren't talking about stopping the existing structure, but we sure as hell need a change.
From: Looking at the despair of Detroit from across the river! | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 12 August 2005 05:48 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The thing is that the idiots who keep whining about how Kyoto, etc., will hurt the economy need to have it drummed into their pinheads that global climate change is already hurting the economy and it's going to hurt it a heck of a lot more.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
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posted 12 August 2005 07:11 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had missed this July 28, 2005 BBC story reporting at least 37 people had died of heat in the US. Were there reports about deaths from heat in Canada?
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 12 August 2005 08:14 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Oceans of evidence for global warming

quote:
The first evidence of human-produced global warming in the oceans has been found, thanks to computer analysis of seven million temperature readings taken over 40 years to depths of 700 metres (2,300ft).

"Over the past 40 years there has been considerable warming of the planetary system and approximately 90% of that warming has gone directly into the oceans," Dr Barnett said. "So if you want to go and find out what's causing it, that's the place to look. We did look.

"We defined a fingerprint, if you wish, of ocean warming ... We had several computer simulations, for instance, one for natural variability. Could the climate system just do this on its own? The answer was clearly no."

The levels of warming were seemingly small: 0.5C (0.9F) at the surface, 0.15C at greater depths.

But oceans cover 70% of the Earth, to depths of two or three miles. What mattered was not the temperature, but the volume of heat submerged.

"If we could mine the energy that has gone in over the past 40 years we could run the state of California for over 200,000 years," Dr Barnett said.

"It's an amazing amount of energy that's gone in. Where did it come from? Not the sun, satellites would have picked that up. It's come from greenhouse warming."



From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
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posted 12 August 2005 08:25 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Denial lobby turns up the heat
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Albion1
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posted 13 August 2005 02:47 PM      Profile for Albion1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Check out
www.fromthewilderness.com


quote:
WARMING HITS 'TIPPING POINT': SIBERIA FEELS THE HEAT

Ian Sample, science correspondent
Thursday August 11, 2005
The Guardian
http://www.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,3604,1546797,00.html


It's a frozen peat bog the size of France and Germany combined, contains billions of tonnes of greenhouse gas and - for the first time since the ice age - it is melting.


A vast expanse of western Sibera is undergoing an unprecedented thaw that could dramatically increase the rate of global warming, climate scientists warn today.

Researchers who have recently returned from the region found that an area of permafrost spanning a million square kilometres - the size of France and Germany combined - has started to melt for the first time since it formed 11,000 years ago at the end of the last ice age.

The area, which covers the entire sub-Arctic region of western Siberia, is the world's largest frozen peat bog and scientists fear that as it thaws, it will release billions of tonnes of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, into the atmosphere.

It is a scenario climate scientists have feared since first identifying "tipping points" - delicate thresholds where a slight rise in the Earth's temperature can cause a dramatic change in the environment that itself triggers a far greater increase in global temperatures.

The discovery was made by Sergei Kirpotin at Tomsk State University in western Siberia and Judith Marquand at Oxford University and is reported in New Scientist today.

The researchers found that what was until recently a barren expanse of frozen peat is turning into a broken landscape of mud and lakes, some more than a kilometre across.

Dr Kirpotin told the magazine the situation was an "ecological landslide that is probably irreversible and is undoubtedly connected to climatic warming". He added that the thaw had probably begun in the past three or four years.

Climate scientists yesterday reacted with alarm to the finding, and warned that predictions of future global temperatures would have to be revised upwards.

"When you start messing around with these natural systems, you can end up in situations where it's unstoppable. There are no brakes you can apply," said David Viner, a senior scientist at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia.

"This is a big deal because you can't put the permafrost back once it's gone. The causal effect is human activity and it will ramp up temperatures even more than our emissions are doing."

In its last major report in 2001, the intergovernmental panel on climate change predicted a rise in global temperatures of 1.4C-5.8C between 1990 and 2100, but the estimate only takes account of global warming driven by known greenhouse gas emissions.

"These positive feedbacks with landmasses weren't known about then. They had no idea how much they would add to global warming," said Dr Viner.

Western Siberia is heating up faster than anywhere else in the world, having experienced a rise of some 3C in the past 40 years. Scientists are particularly concerned about the permafrost, because as it thaws, it reveals bare ground which warms up more quickly than ice and snow, and so accelerates the rate at which the permafrost thaws.

Siberia 's peat bogs have been producing methane since they formed at the end of the last ice age, but most of the gas had been trapped in the permafrost. According to Larry Smith, a hydrologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, the west Siberian peat bog could hold some 70bn tonnes of methane, a quarter of all of the methane stored in the ground around the world.

The permafrost is likely to take many decades at least to thaw, so the methane locked within it will not be released into the atmosphere in one burst, said Stephen Sitch, a climate scientist at the Met Office's Hadley Centre in Exeter.

But calculations by Dr Sitch and his colleagues show that even if methane seeped from the permafrost over the next 100 years, it would add around 700m tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere each year, roughly the same amount that is released annually from the world's wetlands and agriculture.

It would effectively double atmospheric levels of the gas, leading to a 10% to 25% increase in global warming, he said.

Tony Juniper, director of Friends of the Earth, said the finding was a stark message to politicians to take concerted action on climate change. "We knew at some point we'd get these feedbacks happening that exacerbate global warming, but this could lead to a massive injection of greenhouse gases.

"If we don't take action very soon, we could unleash runaway global warming that will be beyond our control and it will lead to social, economic and environmental devastation worldwide," he said. "There's still time to take action, but not much.

"The assumption has been that we wouldn't see these kinds of changes until the world is a little warmer, but this suggests we're running out of time."

In May this year, another group of researchers reported signs that global warming was damaging the permafrost. Katey Walter of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, told a meeting of the Arctic Research Consortium of the US that her team had found methane hotspots in eastern Siberia. At the hotspots, methane was bubbling to the surface of the permafrost so quickly that it was preventing the surface from freezing over.

Last month, some of the world's worst air polluters, including the US and Australia, announced a partnership to cut greenhouse gas emissions through the use of new technologies.

The deal came after Tony Blair struggled at the G8 summit to get the US president, George Bush, to commit to any concerted action on climate change and has been heavily criticised for setting no targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.



From: Toronto, ON. Canada | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
rasmus
malcontent
Babbler # 621

posted 13 August 2005 03:41 PM      Profile for rasmus   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Albion1: please stop posting articles in their entirety. Please go back and edit the posts above to remove most of the quoted articles. Do you even read other people's replies to your posts?
From: Fortune favours the bold | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Albion1
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9652

posted 13 August 2005 05:14 PM      Profile for Albion1     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
rasmus raven. What is the problem anyway?

I see other people posting entire articles on rabble anyway! Don't read the article then if you don't want to.


From: Toronto, ON. Canada | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
pogge
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2440

posted 13 August 2005 05:19 PM      Profile for pogge   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Albion1:
What is the problem anyway?

The problem is that you open the board up to being prosecuted for copyright violation. The board's policy regarding the reproduction of copyrighted material is in the policy statement you agreed to when you signed up.

quote:
I see other people posting entire articles on rabble anyway!

And they usually get asked to clean up their acts too. Most of them are happy to comply. Occasionally someone decides to be silly about it. Like this:

quote:
Don't read the article then if you don't want to.

On edit: Or did you really mean on rabble as opposed to on babble? I expect you'll find that's done with the permission of the copyright holder.

[ 13 August 2005: Message edited by: pogge ]


From: Why is this a required field? | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 13 August 2005 10:42 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
FD is the place where people post entire articles without caring about copyright; we have higher standards here.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 14 August 2005 12:19 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Another argument global warming deniers can't credibly use any more.
quote:
...

For years, skeptics of global warming have used satellite and weather balloon data to argue that climate models were wrong and that global warming isn't really happening.

Now, according to three new studies published in the journal Science, it turns out those conclusions based on satellite and weather balloon data were based on faulty analyses.

The atmosphere is indeed warming, not cooling as the data previously showed...

...Nowadays, radiosondes are better insulated against the effects of sunlight, but if analyzed together with the old data—which showed temperatures that were actually warmer than they really were—the overall effect looked like the troposphere was cooling...


This livescience site has a lot of stuff about various science news. I think it's not political; though it has some commercial support.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Aristotleded24
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 9327

posted 14 August 2005 12:34 AM      Profile for Aristotleded24   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Describing the lives of people who live in the Arctic is much more effective than describing models. People in the Arctic have lived off the land for generations, they know the land very well, and they're saying that what's happening to them is not normal. They know what they're talking about, and that carries much weight.
From: Winnipeg | Registered: May 2005  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 14 August 2005 01:09 AM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Agreed.

Oil on Ice


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 14 August 2005 02:41 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well it's certainly worth listening to the Arctic people to find out what is happening now and what has changed from the past; and when you personalize it some people will take it more seriously. But it is not the only kind of information that needs to get out to the public.

The deniers will simply dismiss the Arctic people's knowledge as limited to a few centuries at most. A main argument the deniers use is that current warming trends are just part of a natural cycle that happens every few thousand years.

So a model needs to trace past trends for a very long period of time, as well as projecting into the future; to be able to show what will happen if current trends continue.

A model should be able to incorporate current information from the Arctic people along with data from tree rings, air and ocean temperatures, historical and archaeological data, etc.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
lagatta
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2534

posted 14 August 2005 06:37 AM      Profile for lagatta     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Meanwhile, Greenland is turning green as the glaciers melt, according to this BBC report.
From: Se non ora, quando? | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
audra trower williams
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2

posted 15 August 2005 02:06 AM      Profile for audra trower williams   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Albion1: Stop violating copyright code or you'll be gone.
From: And I'm a look you in the eye for every bar of the chorus | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Vigilante
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8104

posted 15 August 2005 04:13 AM      Profile for Vigilante        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There's something ironic about FD being less bitchy about copyright then this place oh well.

As far as economists go, I consider them and their discourse to be a cult. And those sceptics should be
ashamed of themselves.


From: Toronto | Registered: Feb 2005  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 16 August 2005 02:07 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
So Margaret Wente is blithering on, saying there is no consensus about global warming. Her one source is Madhav Khandekar, a retired meteorologist who hangs out with the Friends of Science and other global climate change denying groups. Of course, she doesn't mention his connections. Is she too lazy or stupid to find out, or too bigoted to care? A small amount of googling would suffice.

The actual quotes say he feels there are uncertainties; but he doesn't agree with the consensus, and that there is no concensus. Wente claims that research money now goes to people who push global warming. Funny, she doesn't mention the research funding from Exxon and others that goes to people like Madhav Khandekar.


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Geneva
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3808

posted 16 August 2005 02:17 PM      Profile for Geneva     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by WingNut:
[QB]Please move that to Blind Ideologue. QB]

translation:
does not dismiss but rather takes seriously the evidence supporting other viewpoints ;
this causes headaches

as for Wente,
Q. what does she actually say??
A.:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20050816/C OWENT16/TPComment/TopStories

Dr. Khandekar thinks the science of global warming is much more complicated than it's made out to be. He suspects greenhouse gases may play only a bit part. Solar variability may be far more important. And the biggest influence of human activity on the climate may well be urbanization and land-use change (which raises local surface temperatures).

As for the link between global warming and extreme weather, he argues it's unproven. (His new paper, The Global Warming Debate, written with two others, appears in this month's issue of Pure and Applied Geophysics.)

But wait. Wasn't there a piece by two scientists on this very page last week arguing that the heat in Toronto, the floods in Manitoba, the thunderstorms in Nunavut and the pine beetles in B.C. are all an indication of "things to come because of global warming"?

"A couple of years ago, some scientists blamed the drought in Alberta on global warming," says Dr. Khandekar. "This year, the weather in Alberta was monsoon-like."

[ 16 August 2005: Message edited by: Geneva ]


From: um, well | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 16 August 2005 03:00 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Fine; now read what I said.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
WingNut
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1292

posted 16 August 2005 03:08 PM      Profile for WingNut   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Clearly the good doctor knows little about global warmig or its impact. But it is good he is there when those in deep denial, because God forbid they give up their SUV, need someone to destroy their own credibility promoting nonsense.

You, and the good doctor, should get your heads out of Maragret Wentes ass and read some real research.


From: Out There | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
blacklisted
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 8572

posted 16 August 2005 04:39 PM      Profile for blacklisted     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
the americans are catching up
"Scientists say this is more than just a string of freak summers. Between 1949 and 2003, the average annual air temperature in Alaska increased by 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit, with some areas in the state registering increases of almost twice that much, especially in the spring and the autumn.

The effects of the changes are on view everywhere. More than 4 per cent of Alaska is still covered by ice, but the glaciers that draw so many tourists, most of them on board cruise ships, are retreating fast."
http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article306160.ece


From: nelson,bc | Registered: Mar 2005  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 1885

posted 17 August 2005 08:53 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I got yer 'science' right here, bucky!

quote:
He shows that the hottest summers of the 20th century in Canada were during the dust bowl years of the 1920s and the 1930s, not the 1990s. Dr. Khandekar summarizes, "The observed climate change of the last 50 years is beneficial to most regions of Canada in terms of lower heating costs and an enjoyable climate."

So, he is comparing one of the most extreme (economically) weather situations in North America to the present day, and saying that because it ain't as bad as during the dustbowl, it ain't bad at all. That's not science, that's cherry-picking data.

Check out the graph on that page. He has 11 data points and a fitted trend line 'proving' that the number of Atlantic Hurricane events have been decreasing over the past 60 years. Where are the other 49 points, I wonder? Why do four of the points appear to be sharing years? What's the difference between a 'violent' hurricane and a non-qualified hurricane?

NOAA's historical graph shows a marked increase in 'red' hurricanes (Category 3 or higher) over the past while. There is a big spike around the 1950's (which is probably why the more dishonest among us choose 1950 as a starting point). It's interesting seeing the low number of Category 3 and larger prior to 1950.

quote:
But what about the frightening predictions of computer models we keep hearing about? Dr. Tom Wigley of the U.S. National Center for Atmospheric Science explains, "There is no consensus between (computer) models on changes in... temperature and precipitation. Even the best models perform poorly in simulating such variability."

Sir John Houghton, chief scientist of the United Nations-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), agrees and adds, "...there is little agreement between models on... changes in storminess...Conclusions regarding extreme events are obviously even more uncertain."


What is missing from these quotes, I wonder?

Finally, if his work is serious and correct, why was it not published in the Journal of Climate or Geophysical Research Letters? Pure and Applied Geophysics is not an A-list Journal amongst serious climate scientists.

Go here for more balanced responses to media stories relating to climate change.

quote:
RealClimate is a commentary site on climate science by working climate scientists for the interested public and journalists. We aim to provide a quick response to developing stories and provide the context sometimes missing in mainstream commentary. The discussion here is restricted to scientific topics and will not get involved in any political or economic implications of the science.

From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 17 August 2005 11:49 AM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I love these global warming deniers and shills with names like "Envirotruth" and "Friends of Science"

[ 17 August 2005: Message edited by: Contrarian ]


From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
Contrarian
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6477

posted 21 August 2005 11:09 PM      Profile for Contrarian     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Some American politicians speaking out: McCain and Clinton.
From: pretty far west | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged
B.L. Zeebub LLD
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 6914

posted 22 August 2005 05:32 AM      Profile for B.L. Zeebub LLD     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Geneva:

climate change, fine, it probably occurs constantly in such a dynamic and chaotic system as the atmosphere;

And if even if so, it could bring a host of devastating changes for life (human and otherwise) on the planet. So, regardless of whether or not the changes being recorded are cyclical or not is not really that important. More important is our preparedness to respond to them.

Moreover, it is perhaps the case that not only is a cyclical process occurring, but that we participate in that process with our activities. Perhaps we may be able to mitigate some of the changes by stopping certain activities which effect the cycle in ways that are detrimental to us.

It seems like we spend more time worrying about whether or not some baddy-baddy-brown-skin is going to blow up the next T'under Bay-to-Saskatoon connector flight and all 10 people aboard then putting time and resources into responding to an impending problem of real and immense proportion.


From: A Devil of an Advocate | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 3290

posted 23 August 2005 06:58 PM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Panel sees melting permafrost accelerating greenhouse gas build-up in atmosphere

quote:
WASHINGTON (AP) — The rate of ice melting in the Arctic is increasing and a panel of researchers says it sees no natural process that is likely to change that trend.
Within a century the melting could lead to summertime ice-free ocean conditions not seen in the area in a million years, the group said Tuesday.

Melting of land-based glaciers could take much longer but could raise the sea levels, potentially affecting coastal regions worldwide.

And changes to the permafrost could undermine buildings, drain water into bogs and release additional carbon into the atmosphere.

"What really makes the Arctic different from the rest of the non-polar world is the permanent ice in the ground, in the ocean, and on land," said Jonathan T. Overpeck of the University of Arizona and chairman of the National Science Foundation's Arctic System Science Committee that issued the report.

"We see all of that ice melting already, and we envision that it will melt back much more dramatically in the future, as we move towards this more permanent ice-free state," Overpeck said in a statement.

The panel's findings were published in Tuesday's issue of Eos, the weekly newspaper of the American Geophysical Union.


The greenhouse effect is one thing, with rising tempertures and water levels combined with the disruption of changing weather patterns, but this sounds more like the far more serious runaway greenhouse effect, where the hotter it gets the better conditions become for it to become hotter still.


From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged

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