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#25135 - 03/18/08 03:56 AM Glaciers, Record Shrinkage
Mike Kremer Offline

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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#25137 - 03/18/08 05:38 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Mike Kremer]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
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Loc: Australia
There are still doubters about this warming trend. Some just deny it is happening, and there is no need for any action. Others say that it has all happened before. Well maybe it has, but not when there has been a world population of the size it is now, all relying on an ever decreasing amount of water, as well as energy produced by polluting power stations. And then there are those who are all excited about finding the cause of the change in conditions. To me, whilst it seems important to find out why, our ignorance of the causes should not be used as an excuse for our inaction. In fact one of the possible causes of this trend has been identified. Maybe we can help the situation to get no worse if we try, without any great hardship, to limit the use of energy obtained from coal. It is a modest enough proposition, but we seem to be finding very hard to agree to.

Will the Kyoto Agreement help--or is it all too little too late?

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#25141 - 03/18/08 03:47 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Ellis]
ImranCan Offline
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Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 94
Loc: Brunei
Originally Posted By: Ellis
To me, whilst it seems important to find out why, our ignorance of the causes should not be used as an excuse for our inaction.


Ellis - this statement very elegantly sums up the dilemna. But it also illuminates the schism between the morally driven scientists (who use the science to make the case for action) and the sceptically driven scientists (who demand clearer answers). Maybe this explains why there is so little 'middle ground' in this debate.

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#25145 - 03/19/08 02:26 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Ellis]
Canuck Offline
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Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 203
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Ellis
To me, whilst it seems important to find out why, our ignorance of the causes should not be used as an excuse for our inaction.


Really? We don't need to understand the system before deciding how to "fix" it? We can just go monkeying around, implement some trillion dollar policy, and just "hope" it works? Hey, I guess at the very least, we can say we're doing something. Will that assuage the collective Western guilt?

If we don't understand the processes at work, we can never know how effective our corrective measures will be. We'll be resorting to shooting in the dark. Perhaps that doesn't sound like a problem for some - but in a world of finite resources, it's nothing but irresponsible.
Any idea on how many degrees of warming we'll save if Kyoto gets implemented? Didn't think so.

Originally Posted By: Ellis
In fact one of the possible causes of this trend has been identified. Maybe we can help the situation to get no worse if we try, without any great hardship, to limit the use of energy obtained from coal.


No great hardship - please. Tell that to China, India or any other developing country that are pulling themselves out of poverty, with the help of fossil fuels.

By the way, nice way of wrapping your "fact" up with handy qualifiers (possible and maybe). Seems to be a common occurrence with climate change speak these days. (e.g. hurricanes may increase due to global warming)


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#25146 - 03/19/08 03:52 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Canuck]
Ellis Offline
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Loc: Australia
Canuck wrote:
Really? We don't need to understand the system before deciding how to "fix" it? We can just go monkeying around, implement some trillion dollar policy, and just "hope" it works?


No I don't suggest that at all. We do not understand all the causes of cancer but we treat the symptoms and try to minimise the risk of its occurrence, for example, by modifying our diet or behaviour. We need to do something similar with regard to Climate Change.

Regarding coal in developing countries--where do you think it comes from? My country at the moment is doing very well in the current financial crisis as we are a very, very large supplier of coal, gas and iron ore to China and also India. That is the dilemma. It would be harder for our country to stop exporting coal than it is for individuals to give up smoking. At the moment we are hoping for the Holy Grail of Clean Coal!

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#25149 - 03/19/08 11:45 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Ellis]
Canuck Offline
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Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 203
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Ellis

No I don't suggest that at all. We do not understand all the causes of cancer but we treat the symptoms and try to minimise the risk of its occurrence, for example, by modifying our diet or behaviour. We need to do something similar with regard to Climate Change.


I don't think that's a valid analogy. We can quantify the increased risk of cancer due to smoking, or exposure to other carcinogens. We can quantify the lowered risk of cancer due to a balanced diet. These risk factors have been quantified through studies on millions and millions of individual cases. Global warming on the other hand, doesn't have the same luxury. There's only 1 case to test hypothesis's on. There's a huge difference in certainty between the two.

But we have models you say!
People need to realize global circulation models are not the panacea that they are held up to be. Computer models only do what we program them to do - they're not some magic box that knows all. If we don't understand the processes at work, we can't program the computers correctly.

The IPCC (well, at least the scientific branch of the IPCC) recognize this, and have said as much. Why aren't policy makers listening?
From the Third Assessment Report - A Scientific Basis. Section 14.2.2 - Predictability in a Chaotic System

Originally Posted By: IPCC
"The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

Let me re-state that for emphasis......the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. whistle Wow, that's a doozy eh?
Hmmm, so we have no idea about the state of future climate, but yet we need to enact multi-trillion dollar policies to do something about it......Now......Right now

So - I'll ask my question again. How many degrees of warming will we save if all developed countries implement Kyoto?

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#25150 - 03/19/08 03:53 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Ellis]
ImranCan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 94
Loc: Brunei
Originally Posted By: Ellis

We do not understand all the causes of cancer but we treat the symptoms and try to minimise the risk of its occurrence, for example, by modifying our diet or behaviour. We need to do something similar with regard to Climate Change.


Ellis - not understanding something and attempting to solve it has the potential to be a recipe for a TOTAL disaster. As an example, very well meaning (but fundamentally flawed) moves to reduce CO2 emmissions by encouraging growth in biofuels is now clearly having a serious negative impact on remaining rainforests. In our panic to solve what may turn out to be a non-existent problem, we are genuinely destroying our environment. I live on Borneo and it is heartbreaking to see the complete destruction of virgin forest by replacement with mile after mile of palm oil plantation. It is is a tragedy or untold proportions. And all encouraged by highly educated, well meaning people who live far away and dream of saving the planet ... but who don't know what they are talking about. This is complex and you need to understand it before taking action.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/18332282/
http://www.foe.co.uk/resource/reports/greasy_palms_summary.pdf

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#25151 - 03/19/08 04:38 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: ImranCan]
Kevat Shah Offline
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Registered: 03/11/08
Posts: 37
Loc: Grenada
Imran, what amount of climate change would be neccesary to say ok, its getting bad and we need to do something about it? Temperature in hot places have had record lows for consecutive years while temperatures for cold places have had record highs! The number and the intensity of tornadoes and floods have gone off the roof. Floods in Bangladesh are so bad that people are moving to other nations by the millions! There's even talk about the entire country emptying out because it is nothing more than a marshland and the floods in the past few years are ravaging it.

More importantly, the homestatsis of earth resembles homeostasis maintained by warm-blooded animals. Accordingly, small change in temperature produces little or no effect because of homeostasis maintaining mechanisms. However, make those changes large enough, and everything falls apart; things change very drastically very quickly. Replacing existing rainforests with palm oil plantations maybe to drastic a step, but that does not mean we completely back off and let nature take its course. If we wait until the results are clearly visible, it may already be too late, because like I said, once the change in temperature is big enough, things will change very drastically and very quickly. There will not be enough time to counter these drastic effects.
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#25155 - 03/19/08 11:04 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Canuck]
Mike Kremer Offline

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Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK
Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

A very interesting discussion

Canuck asks this question,......(it has no answer).
"Any idea on how many degrees of warming we'll save if Kyoto gets implemented? Didn't think so."

Canuck also mentions a posting by IPPC

[quote=IPCC]"The climate system is a coupled non-linear chaotic system, and therefore the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible."

Canuck re-states:-
Let me re-state that for emphasis......the long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible. whistle Wow, that's a doozy eh?

Originally Posted By: Mike Kremer

I would like to mention that there are a number or influential
climatologists who are quite adamant in their belief that Global
warming (and cooling) is driven by the long term cosmological
influence of our Suns travel through the dusty arms of our own
spiral Galaxy.
Other variables, such as Cosmic ray intensity, and the Suns output have also been mentioned.

All making it certain that there there wont be any definitive answer in our lifetime, or in our childrens.

Prehaps the best we can hope for, is that 'man made' global warming will eventually slow as our Earth reaches a heat stability plateau?
Hopefully there must be a leveling off eventually?

But as Canuck suggests, unknown corrective measures, like shooting in the dark, would be irresponsible.

The developing Asian nations are far too busy playing financial catchup with the West to worry about climate responsibility at this stage in their development

Heres another gloomy NASA Sat: Pic: from yesterday.
Showing Artic ice melts have reached twice the area of Texas


http://uk.reuters.com/article/scienceNew...lBrandChannel=0

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"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#25157 - 03/20/08 03:47 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Mike Kremer]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
Canuck wrote
I don't think that's a valid analogy. We can quantify the increased risk of cancer due to smoking, or exposure to other carcinogens. We can quantify the lowered risk of cancer due to a balanced diet. These risk factors have been quantified through studies on millions and millions of individual cases. Global warming on the other hand, doesn't have the same luxury. There's only 1 case to test hypothesis's on. There's a huge difference in certainty between the two.

I think it is a valid analogy. I am old enough to remember that people were once sceptical of smoking as a cause for cancer. A female smoker friend of mine was reassured by her doctor that women did not get lung cancer, and they didn't (in any number) then because women did not smoke as much as men until the 50s. However this ignorance did not mean that no-one was treated to relieve the symptoms of cancer. Similarly when AIDS first started people were not refused treatment because the disease was strange and new, and the symptoms did not conform to any known prognosis. The symptoms were treated. The cause was not known for years after the first outbreak, but treatment was not refused because the reason was not known.

I cannot see how we in western style countries can morally stop development in Third World countries. We enjoy a standard of living that ensures we have safe water, healthy food, education and medical care. How can we deny this to others? I don't know the answer and I doubt anyone does. But I don't think that holding off from trying to mitigate the effects because we are squabbling about the causes is going to get much achieved either.


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#25159 - 03/20/08 02:48 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Ellis]
ImranCan Offline
Member

Registered: 09/04/07
Posts: 94
Loc: Brunei
Kevat
Your statements sound dramatic but there is not much fact behind them.
- for flood data in Bangladesh - have a look at some stats :
http://www.sdnbd.org/sdi/issues/floods_drainage/2004/data/top_10_natural_disasters_bangladesh.htm

what does this tell you ?

- for sea level rise, any examination of any IPCC report will show you that sea levels have been rising for 150 years (at least) which should make you wonder why its only now that its becoming an issue ...?

- I thought the tornado data was well and truly put to bed as an example of misused data - the reason more are reported now is because - well - more are reported now. Theat doesn't exactly translate into 'more have occured'. Same for hurricanes. Even Al Gore admits this.
http://www.disastercenter.com/tornado/25Worst.htm

Basically, you need to do some reasearch.

The more focussed question should be "whats an accpetable CO2 limit ... 500ppm, 1000ppm ? " Regardlless of whether you believe CO2 willl radically alter the climate or not, clearly we need to think about alternatives. And there are plenty of things we can, should and are doing to reduce CO2 emmissions growth ..
- moderate hydrocarbon energy taxes
- increased R+D in renewables and new technologies
- re-focus onto nuclear
- higher energy prices to istill efficiency gains
- all new coal fired power stations to be combined-cycle
- incentivise carbon sequestration ofr power suppliers
etc etc

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#25161 - 03/21/08 08:18 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: ImranCan]
samwik Offline
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Registered: 10/10/06
Posts: 1164
Loc: Colorado
Tornados in Atlanta, Fog in Dubai, Snow in Baghdad, January Tornados and Thunder Snow.
hmmmmm

"More importantly, the homestatsis of earth resembles homeostasis maintained by warm-blooded animals. Accordingly, small change in temperature produces little or no effect because of homeostasis maintaining mechanisms. However, make those changes large enough..."

Neat analogy, Kevat!

Imran points out,
Originally Posted By: Imrancan
"there are plenty of things we can, should and are doing to reduce CO2 emissions growth ...."
Please don't focus on just emissions!

Reducing emissions will help us out in the long run (50+ yrs) by allowing us to control or maintain lower levels of CO2.
However, any current reduction in emissions (even a complete cessation of emissions) will not prevent further warming.

For the near term....
Originally Posted By: **
In its Second Assessment Report the IPCC, 1996 estimated that it might be possible, over the next 50 to 100 years, to sequester 40-80 Gt of C in cropland soils (Cole et al., 1996; Paustian et al., 1998; Rosenberg et al., 1998).

...agricultural soils alone could capture enough Carbon to offset any further increase in the atmospheric inventory for a period lasting between 12 and 24 years.

...there is also a very large potential for Carbon storage in the soils of degraded and desertified lands.

Soil Carbon sequestration alone could make up the difference between expected emissions and the desired trajectory in the first three or four decades of the 21st century, buying time for development of the new technological advances...[emission reduction/recycling].


40-80 Billion Tonnes of Carbon (just in cropland soils) + even larger potential sequestration by restoring "the soils of degraded and desertified lands" would be enough to return CO2 to pre-industrial levels within a few decades.

Why isn't this solution being implemented?

Originally Posted By: **
This mitigation option was set-aside in the Kyoto negotiations ostensibly because of the perceived difficulty and cost of verifying that Carbon is actually being sequestered and maintained in soils.


**Storing Carbon in Agricultural Soils: A Multi-purpose Environmental Strategy
Edited by:
Norman J. Rosenberg and Roberto C. Izaurralde
Reprinted from Climatic Change, Vol.51, no.1, 2001
Kluwer Academic Publishers
ISBN 0-7923-7149-6

...and this isn't the high-cost, high-tech "carbon capture" CO2 sequestration schemes that energy companies are researching.

It's very low cost, requiring mainly organization and a change in culture and behaviour.

Probably we should not even wait for governments to act (focusing on only emissions will not help us now), and should just start at the grass-roots level (pun intended), spreading the good word to gardening clubs, nurseries, hardware stores, churchs, local governments, planning commissions and zoning boards.

smile ...see also: Terra Preta Soils (to enhance sequestration).
_________________________
Pyrolysis creates reduced carbon! ...Time for the next step in our evolutionary symbiosis with fire.

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#25172 - 03/23/08 07:54 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Ellis]
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Glaciers - Record Shrinkage?

I read about this trend recently in a couple of newspaper articles but the data seemed to be very selective and put out by a green group. No articles that I read referred to any real research.

Glaciers are melting. They have been doing that for 11,300 years and will continue to do so until this intergacial period ends.

The last valid research I saw on glaciers showed that out of the 16,000 identified glaciers (can't remember the exact figure) about 11,000 are getting bigger or remain static.

Certainly a number of equatorial glaciers are shrinking but most of those started to do so around 150 to 180 years ago due to mostly local climate changes. Kilimanjaro is a famous example. The area around it was overgrazed around 200 years ago changing the area around the mountain to a much drier climate and it then started to melt. 80% of the melt occurred before 1900. That cannot be blamed on global warming other than coming out of the LIA and in the case of many of the equatorial glaciers you cannot even blame that.

Glacier size is greatly affected by land use around the glacier. For instance, Greenland have been trying very hard for more than 30 years to make small areas of land agriculturally productive. Without arguing whether this had anything to do with glacier shrinkage, the fact is that in these areas glaciers have shrunk a lot and the land use is now changing much more rapidly. The Greenland people couldn't be happier.

This post is an experiment because I was asked to return to this site. I'll see how it goes. Play nice and I'll be happy to contribute to the limited capacity I am able.

If there is specific research in relation to the "record shrinkage" happy to have someone point me to it.

For those that have been around for a couple of years on this site, you might remember that I suggested that a great deal would change starting near the end of 2007 because of solar activity and my guess that an Al Nina was forming. By September, my guess wasn't a guess any more and the Al Nina truly had arrived. Now we are in a full blown, very large, Al Nina and this WILL cause world cooling and have a dampening effect on world climate for a min of 8 years even if the Al Nina stops now and it doesn't look like that's going to happen.

I feel sorry for those in Mid West US. Big Al Ninas like this one mean big tornados and lots of them. It also means very dry western US and terrible wildfires. Once again this effect should be for at least eight years. If you notice any mention of "extreme weather" further proving global warming and tornadoes are mentioned perhaps you could pause to think about the Al Nina that is around, or better yet, actually do a bit of study on the El Nino / Al Nina phenominum.

From September 2007 the world's SAT has dropped. That is typical of an Al Nina. What is strange about an Al Nina is that its effects last years after it stops. El Ninos maybe very powerful and the hottest year this century caused by a one in a century El Nino in the not too distant past shows just how powerful the effect can be but El Ninos don't continue to influence the world's climate the second they stop. So this Al Nina, especially coupled with the solar activity drop, is going to prove extremely difficult to counter with global warming arguments in general.

Oh and just a little comment about rain in the Arctic. Big deal. It does happen. I was in the Artic and really copped a rain storm. Believe me they are amazing to watch but deadly to be out in because they are much colder than snow falling.


Regards


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#25173 - 03/23/08 08:00 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: RicS]
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day all,

Might I make a little suggestion here. Global warming has a great many sub-issues. My previous post covers a number of them because there is a great many issues in this one post. Would it not make sense to keep threads to the topic for which they started and create new threads for new thoughts or opinions. Easier to read, better science can be discussed and specific very important aspects of global warming will not get missed because there are 20 or 30 different topics already in the one thread.

For instance, there is a bit on Kyoto posted by Samwik relating to the ability to actually "bank" CO2. This is a terrific subject and most offsets seem to be scams, about the level of savings and loans in truthfullness or really big scams. I actually thought of creating a Carbon Offset company just so that there really would be carbon offset for those people that think this is important. It is very easy to do since there is currently no regulation about it but trees just do not lock up CO2 (well they did in the Carboniforous but that was a slightly different environment at the time)


Regards


Richard
_________________________
Sane=fits in. Unreasonable=world needs to fit to him. All Progress requires unreasonableness

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#25179 - 03/24/08 08:02 PM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: RicS]
Canuck Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/16/07
Posts: 203
Loc: Ontario, Canada
Welcome back Ric - glad to see you back here.

Have you had any luck in getting your paper published?

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#25180 - 03/25/08 12:33 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Canuck]
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
Off Topic

G'day Canuck,

I'm not really "back" as such. I was asked a technical question and had a very quick look at the forum and could not find any nasty anomosity so decided to post a little bit. The threads are still a mess though. Maybe the moderation idea that I proposed that included actually enforcing threads being on topic may now be able to be implemented without causing disturbance. I'd like to see that happen.

Much of my work got caught up in the problem that the work I had been doing was for an institute that retains the rights to my research on their behalf and because they didn't like the answers they don't want it published. Have a work around for this but have simply been way too ill to do anything.

Haven't even kept track of much of the generalist areas of Climate science that interest me for the past year or so. Being an incomplete para means circulation problems in my legs and a nurse using the wrong scissors cutting off a cast managed to create an infection that then decided it would like to chomp through a fair bit of bone in my legs. If I even sit up the nausea is overwhelming. I'm not asking for sympathy here. Just explaining why I have completely stalled with the work.

I hope this finds you well.


Regards


Richard

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#25183 - 03/25/08 07:48 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: RicS]
Amaranth Rose II Offline

Superstar

Registered: 12/16/06
Posts: 962
Loc: Southeast Nebraska, USA
Sorry to hear you're not feeling well. Hope you get better soon. It's good to have you back. I'm working on trying to keep the forum civil and polite. Guess I need to put in more effort on the on-topic issue.
_________________________
If you don't care for reality, just wait a while; another will be along shortly. --A Rose


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#25186 - 03/26/08 03:10 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
Ellis Offline
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Registered: 01/08/07
Posts: 1490
Loc: Australia
A great chunk of the Wilkins ice-sheet in Antarctica fell of this week- actually whilst watched by the occupants of an exploring British helicopter. It is expected that further sheering off will occur in the next few weeks. Because this ice was in fact already on the water it is not expected to raise sea levels, but the same may not be true for later chunks which are on the continent itself.

Ric. So far all the Al Nina has done for us here in Victoria is deepen the drought!

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#25187 - 03/26/08 03:39 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Amaranth Rose II]
Mike Kremer Offline

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Registered: 10/16/04
Posts: 1696
Loc: London UK

Hello Richard, I had read your earlier posts with some interest.

But I did not realise until now that you were having these medical problems. Your postings are clearsighted, your writings show your fortitude. Like Amaranth, I wish you the best recovery possible.

Here's the latest on another 'Ice Shelf Break-up'. In Antartica this time.

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/TECH/03/25/antarctic.ice/index.html

I believe the Antartic seas are a lot shallower than those in the Artic.
Which probably means they will warm up somewhat quicker than their Northern counterpart?

_________________________
.

.
"You will never find a real Human being - Even in a mirror." ....Mike Kremer.



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#25188 - 03/26/08 04:14 AM Re: Glaciers, Record Shrinkage [Re: Mike Kremer]
RicS Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 03/26/06
Posts: 310
Loc: Sydney, Australia
G'day all,

My medical condition is not fixable nor will it ever improve. It does worsen with monotinous regularity unfortunately but I thank you for the kind words.

Antarctic Ice Sheets

Sea Ice sheets break off all the time. Big deal. Alone they prove nothing. The sea ice sheets are subject to immense compressive forces as well as other actions that make their disintigration inevitable. Last Century an iceberg a couple of hundred kilometres long (or if you prefer hundreds of MILES long) and quite wide went past some merchant shipping. This was not an indication of any climate change at all.

The Antartic has more ice now that it did 50 years ago according to all the studies I have seen. The difference is that the micro climate of the Antartic changes regularly and for the last 50 years or so the climate has shifted so more ice is formed on the western ? side than the eastern side (forgive me if I have this around the wrong way - I'm going from memory here). The ice extending beyond the continental shelf of the Antartic is reducing in thickness and size. The ice over the landmass is greatly increasing in size.

As to droughts in Victoria, sorry mate but Al Nina's affect the Eastern Seaboard of Australia and the mid Eastern inland the most, as well as having an effect of the weather in Queensland far more than for Victoria. The Al Nina, if it sticks around for a while should ease the Victorian drought eventually but that is not the area that really is greatly impacted by an Al Nina when it first forms.

Oh and Amaranth Rose, this now has four topics just to reply to the posts directly following my previous ones!


Regards


Richard

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