Monday, January 30, 2012

Thin Ice

 The NASA graph to the left shows global temperature rise during the industrial age (during about the past century and a half; 1880 - 2011).

The global warming deniers, at least those who are not still in psychotic denial, generally concede the warming now, however, the clinginess they have developed still clings to the notion that this warming is not anthropogenic, not human caused.

An interesting feature on the graph, which may have thrown some of us off, is the jagged nature of the annual line, when compared with the much more smooth 5 year average line.

The nemesis of the deniers, Al Gore, who traveled to Antarctica in 1988, is going back to Antartica with a group of scientists, business people, activists, and others (Gore To Antartica).

Since there have been new maps, new studies, and new indications that are causing concern, Mr. Gore and his entourage evidently want to document the current reality as a service to fellow members of current civilization.

Researchers completed a map of ice flow in Antarctica, and were somewhat surprised to find that ice flows like slow rivers from deep in the interior regions of the continent, not just at the coasts (Science Daily).

This is significant, because it means that because the ice is sliding or flowing toward the oceans, as ice falls off into the ocean and melts, more of the same will continue to happen because of the replenishing flow from the vast interior.

This is also of note because Antarctica is warming at a rate several times worse than the global average rate.

It had been thought, in the past, that ice further inland was anchored in place, and so it would take centuries to melt in place, but things are changing:
Other scientists have found that the speed at which sand dunes drift across the Antarctic desert has tripled in the past 40 years, as warming temperatures loosen the ice and power wind. A new study by the Indian Space Research Organization and the Geological Survey of India in Kolkata reports that 80 percent of India’s Himalayan glaciers are receding. Researchers have also found that Greenland’s longest-observed glacier, Mittivakkat Glacier, made two consecutive record losses in mass observations for 2010 and 2011.
(Ice Advance and Retreat). One common sense conclusion is that the acceleration means that the oceans will rise as described by the phrase that characterizes our time,  "more than previously expected."

Mr. Gore and his entourage made it to Antarctica:
After crossing the legendary Drake Passage, we came in sight of the Antarctic continent. It is a majestic, otherworldly place. The Antarctic Peninsula, which juts northward toward South America, is lined with ice-covered mountains and surrounded by abundant wildlife in the sea. But even on this continent that looks and feels pristine, a troubling process is underway because of global warming.
(Al Gore From Antarctica). On another front, the good news that glaciers high up in the Himilayas are not melting much at all, may deceive some into thinking the 99% of ice elsewhere is not melting.

That would be self deluding:
"Our results and those of everyone else show we are losing a huge amount of water into the oceans every year. People should be just as worried about the melting of the world's ice as they were before." ... Taken globally all the observations of the Earth's ice – permafrost, Arctic sea ice, snow cover and glaciers – are going in the same direction."
(Guardian). That has not held the deniers back yet, and I don't expect it to hold back their denial, based on fear, this time either.

Out with the old climate change denier propaganda engine, Marshall Institute, and in with the new climate change denier propaganda engine The Heartland Institute.

The lyrics to the following song can be viewed here.

1 comment:

  1. There seems to be a deliberate, intense, and growing effort to deceive people about climate change: Link