Global warming is it really happening

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by some_guy01, Oct 5, 2001.

  1. sage Registered Senior Member

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    2)edufer-<img src="">"Divergence of Temperture Trends in Lower Troposphere in IPCC Global Warming Forecast"</A> (by S.B. Robinson, S.A. Baliunas, W. Soon and Z.W. Robinson, 1998.
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  3. sage Registered Senior Member

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    Nice upward trend! Now take a look at the US record (1880-1999):
    <font color=red size=5><b>The U.S. Record</b></font>

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  5. sage Registered Senior Member

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  7. sage Registered Senior Member

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  8. sage Registered Senior Member


    WOULD THE GREEN HOUSE EFFECT DENIERS EXPLAIN THIS?(SEE PICTURE 1 OF GALLERY) Note that no 10,000 year old ice age can possibly even begin to explain the exponential rise that occurred in the last couple of centuries. Also note the correlation between C02 and average global temperature over the past 160 thousand years. Notice the graph above ends with C02 ppm concentration of under 250. Notice the graph below shows current C02 ppm concentration of ~350 and rising exponentially. Finally, note that in the graph above the total range of variation of C02 concentration is about 100 ppm, corresponding to a temperature range of about 12.5 degrees.

    Now, would someone please deny all of the above so that we can breathe a collective sigh of relief and go about our normal daily business of screwing our children over?
    Edited by B 03
    Quoted from BAMBI
    Edufer-Good link!
    quote: Check out:

    basic science by By Harvey Augenbraun, Elaine Matthews, and David Sarma postulates of global warming evidences. Might help? "

    Yes, it did help to get near the truth. The NASA page is a nice example of how some "scientists" do their "science". Although they mention water vapor as the main greenhouse gas, they didn't mention the heat retention potencial of each gas (95% for water vapor) and 3,5% for CO2. If they mention these figures, it would undermine their arguments and make their agenda useless.

    They also show a table with natural and anthropogenic sources of gases, but in the "natural sources for CO2", they show a blank space! Even Bert Bolin, head of the IPCC, has demonstrated in his studies that adult forests and jungles have a huge contribution of CO2, in fact, they have a negative balance of CO2, this is, forests and jungles produce more CO2 than their absorb from the air. And, what about CO2 produced by volcanoes, forest and prairies fires?

    There are many other unscientific claims in the study by Augenbraun, Matthews and Sarma, but it would be too lenghty to show them here. The article is full of "half-truths", and when a scientist does not tell the WHOLE truth, he is LYING. He is avoiding data and facts that would contradict his hypothesis. One basic rule of science: "A Half-truth is a Whole-Lie".

    But thanks for the link. It was really useful.
    Edufer-Removal of CO2
    Although this idea shows promise, there is another practical, inexpensive method for removing CO2 from the air: plants.

    I am sorry to spoil your great idea, Deus, bringing you old information. Plants (all green stuff on Earth, crops, jungles, golf lawns, prairies, etc), only contribute 3,5% - 5% of the oxygen produced every year in this beautiful planet. The remaining 95 - 97% is produced by phytoplankton in the oceans, especially in the cold oceans (Antarctic and Arctic seas).

    Plants (green stuff) are needed (I say: essential) for quite different reasons, easy to understand. Apart of providing us with food, trees provide shade that contributes to keeping microclimas steady, plants produce "evapoperspiration", they give humidity to the atmosphere, helping to produce the "greenhouse" effect, they provide chemicals for medicines, they are also useful as wind barriers, home of wild species, etc, etc, and thousands of etc.

    I agree with the claim that states the best way to produce oxygen (sequestring CO2 from the air) is by cutting old trees and letting new ones to grow in size. Once trees reach maturity, they stop being efficient CO2 removers because they have stopped growing in size (transforming carbon into wood), thing they do when growing. The same oxygen they make during daytime, is used at night for their metabolic functions. Balance=zero.

    Actually, as discovered by Bert Bolin (the head of the IPCC, not less) in studies performed back in the 70s, mature forests and jungles have a negative balance of CO2, that is, they produce more CO2 than they absorb!.

    EDUFER Sun’s Magnetic Cycles Influence Earth’s Climate

    A study published in the June 10 issue of Earth and Planetary Science Letters, shows a clear link between changes in solar magnetism and the Earth’s 100,000 year climate cycles. The author, Mukul Sharma of the Department of Earth Sciences at Dartmouth College, used data of changes in the production rates of beryllium 10 to map variations in the sun’s magnetic activity. “Beryllium 10 in the Earth’s atmosphere depends on the galactic cosmic ray influx that, in turn, is affected by the solar magnetic activity and the geomagnetic field activity [earth’s magnetic field intensity].”

    When the sun is magnetically more active, it blocks incoming cosmic rays, which are charged particles that contribute to cloud formation, causing the earth to warm. When the sun is less active, more cosmic rays enter the atmosphere, increasing cloud cover, and cooling the earth.

    Sharma found that changes in solar variation match changes in earth’s climate. “Surprisingly, it looks like solar activity is varying in longer time spans than we realized,” said Sharma. “We knew about the shorter cycles of solar activity, so maybe these are just little cycles within a larger cycle. Even more surprising is the fact that the glacial and interglacial periods on earth during the last 200,000 years appear to be strongly linked to solar activity” (, June 6, 2002

    The graphs usually present surface temperatures from 1860 to present days, relative to the 1951-1980 average, as stated by the Cornell Univ. webpage. This is arbitrary, because it assumes that the 1951-1980 average is "normal", so any deviation from it looks catastrophic. If you take as "normal" the average temperatures of the Climatic Optimum of 1100 AD, then the trends disappear and everything looks fine. This kind of graphs convince people who likes to see great swings in the curves, but do not read the whole story. A look at the graph will give you a different picture(SEE PICTURE 2 OF GALLERY)
    "Divergence of Temperture Trends in Lower Troposphere in IPCC Global Warming Forecast" (by S.B. Robinson, S.A. Baliunas, W. Soon and Z.W. Robinson, 1998.

    Another point never mentioned by the media is that CO2 increase lags behind temperature increase by some few hundred years, so it is not CO2 what increases temperature but increased temperatures produce the conditions for more CO2 emissions from biomass.

    A visit to the Cornel University page "A Global Warming Primer" shows that 5339 visitors read the page since 1996, and average of 74.1 visitors a month, or 2 visitors a day. It does not speak well of the scientific confidence and trustability obtained by the page. As a comparison, the webpage of the Argentine Foundation for a Scientific Ecology, "Ecology: Myths and Frauds" (Spanish and English versions), gets an average of 277 unique visitors a day (not bad for a $10 a month website in Freeservers...) The industry and oil lobbies don't pay us enough as to have a $25 website...

    BTW Moskow is having a record-breaking heat wave right now. Does that prove global warming? NO. You have to look at average global temperatures.

    Of course. BTW, while Spain is having a record cool spring and summer, South America is going through the worst blizzards and cold (freezing) temperatures in recent history (Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Peru). In Bolivia and Peru it has been labeled as a "National Tragedy" because the death toll it took in human and animal lives. As you say, we must see average temperatures (global or local) and here comes handy this temperature graph from Newkirk, Oklahoma, from 1930, to 1990, a time lapse wide enough to set a trend.(SEE PICTURE 3 OF GALLERY

    It looks that there was not warming in Oklahoma until 1990. Are you curious about temperature trends in the world? You can check them, one by one, from a set of some hundreds at this webpage: What the Stations Say. Don't be afraid, see them with your own eyes.
    Overdose in reply to Edufer:-

    Originally posted by Edufer
    The graphs usually present surface temperatures from 1860 to present days, relative to the 1951-1980 average, as stated by the Cornell Univ. webpage. This is arbitrary, because it assumes that the 1951-1980 average is "normal", so any deviation from it looks catastrophic. If you take as "normal" the average temperatures of the Climatic Optimum of 1100 AD, then the trends disappear and everything looks fine.

    It doesn't matter what you calibrate as your 0 point. The trend merely gets translated up or down on the graph. The curve stays the same. Exponential.

    This kind of graphs convince people who likes to see great swings in the curves, but do not read the whole story.

    Take another look, and tell me the graph is not exponential.

    "Divergence of Temperture Trends in Lower Troposphere in IPCC Global Warming Forecast" (by S.B. Robinson, S.A. Baliunas, W. Soon and Z.W. Robinson, 1998.

    I don't suppose the surface temperatures actually mean anything, then. It's not like the glaciers are located on the surface, after all.

    Another point never mentioned by the media is that CO2 increase lags behind temperature increase by some few hundred years, so it is not CO2 what increases temperature but increased temperatures produce the conditions for more CO2 emissions from biomass.

    Excuse me??? How the heck is warmer temperature supposed to increase CO2?? Warmer oceans absorb more CO2. Warmer climates encourage greater vegetation which sequesters CO2 from the atmosphere. Biomass scrubs carbon from the atmosphere. Burning previously scrubbed carbon in the form of coal, oil, natural gas or biomass releases it back into the atmosphere as CO2. Did you flunk biology, Mr. teacher?

    Take another look at the second graph below, and help me find that lag of "some few hundred years":

    ”And my hope is not vague: it is based on scientific proofs and undeniable evidences”.-edufer

    overdose continued-
    Proofs?? Undeniable evidences?? Where are they? Physics says CO2 is a greenhouse gas. You have proof against that? Atmospheric CO2 concentrations have been dramatically boosted in the last couple of centuries and continue to increase exponentially! You have proof against that? Man is unbalancing the natural carbon budget by releasing previously sequestered carbon into the atmosphere in massive amounts growing exponentially. You have proof against that? CO2 persists in the atmosphere for a long time. You have proof against that? Venus is 900 degrees Fahrenheit at the surface due to a runaway greenhouse effect. You have proof against that? How about "undeniable evidences"?

    So we don't currently observe the large effect that was predicted. Does that mean there is no effect? Does that mean that whatever is buffering against the effect will continue to buffer equally well in the future? The planet may be getting greener for now, but how much greener will it get before the flora is saturated? Before annual fires begin to release as much CO2 back into the atmosphere as is sequestered by additional greenery every year? Before rotting biomass begins to release enough methane (a much more potent greenhouse gas than CO2) to progressively make things worse?

    Until we have an impeccable model of climate indicating that CO2 explosion will not lead to climate catastrophe and detailing the exact reasons why not, the only prudent course of action is that of caution and prevention. This is not alarmism, it is not inventing new problems out of thin air. There is good reason to suspect that increasing concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases could unbalance the climate. Unless and until we have a compelling reason to strongly believe otherwise, caution is the only prudent option. (PICTURE 1 AGAIN)

    Granted, CO2 doesn't always correlate perfectly with global temperature (as seen from the first graph above), which means other factors are also at play. However, the correlation is still there and is very strong.

    Are you aware that CO2 is a greenhouse gas? That's not propaganda; it's mere physics. CO2 efficiently absorbs infra-red (heat) emissions from the ground, thereby making it more difficult for heat to escape into space.

    Edufer’s reply to this to be continued on the next post.

  9. sage Registered Senior Member

    ok andre lets forget about it!it was not coming out the way i wanted anyway.let me tell you what i concluded from the debate.
    1)antarctica cannot be used as a proof of global warming as the evidence suggests it is COOLING ON AVERAGE.
    2)link between co2 and temperature seems strong from long term paleoclimatic evidence.the cause effect relationship is far from clear and needs further investigation.
    3)on the shorter time span paleoclimatic evidence has been undermined by the calthrate gun hypothesis.we need to gauge its influence first however before making any premature one can see the extent of correlation between co2 and temp. in the last century seem dependant on the affiliation of the organisation sponsoring the least one and possibly both are distorting facts and we need to find NEUTRAL ORGANISATION WHOSE SINCERITY COULD BE RELIED UPON.LET US DRAW SUCH A LIST OF ORGANISATIONS FIRST BEFORE ANYTHING.
    4)on a personal level i feel if the global warming is happening at all its response to co2 increase is may become dramatic later but that is debatable.other human induced degradation is much more damaging.these include-
    a)destruction of ecosystems
    c)desertification and toxicity
    Last edited: May 29, 2003
  10. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Sage: “Let us go by pieces,” as Jack the Ripper used to say. I am not denying the Earth has warmed since 1860. Actually, It has been doing that since the lowest point in the LittLe Ice Age (around 1650), so it is only a rebound from a previous extremely cold climate. Earth is (or was) returning slowly to the climate of the Optimum Climate of 850-1250 AD, <b>2º C warmer than today</b>). Temperatures went up and down during those centuries, and now they seem to be going down again –slightly, but down nevertheless. And according to Dr. Landscheidt’s studies and predictions based on the Sun’s magnetic cycles, we are expecting a Double Solar Minima (Gleissberg Minimum) by the year 2030, that would equal conditions in the Sun (and on Earth) resembling the Maunder Minimum of the 1660: freezing to death. That’s only 27 years ahead, so we could be witness of the accuracy of this prediction – mainly because these Sun’s anomalies will start quite soon: by 2010, just 7 years from now!. Isn’t that exciting? Being witnesses of a sharp climate change, throwing all climate computer models to the trash can, and putting to shame all the people (stuffed dolls and puppets) in the IPCC and the United Nations!

    You ask us to see the correlation between CO2 and temperatures, something quite evident to everybody, but you fail to set the order of correlation: <b><font color=red>which is the cause and which is the effect.</font></b> It is the same case as the story of <b>"Who came first? The egg or the hen?</b> (I would add: They are being discriminative. Why are they leaving the rooster out?, you fascist feminists...)

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    As many, many studies have shown that the increase of CO2 lags the increase of temperature by 100-300 years, we must safely conclude that the temperature increase came first, provoking a CO2 increase, due to the amount of vegetation resulting from the melting of glaciers that covered most of Europe and North America. Bert Bolin, head of the IPCC, once demonstrated <b>that forests actually added more CO2 to the atmosphere than they removed from it.</b> Believe it or not, but that’s a fact. Bolin’s studies have really became a boomerang for his present claims of CO2 correlation between CO2 and Temperature increase. Some would say he shot himself in the foot.

    As you can easily see from the graph you refer to us, especially in the first part (140.000 years before present) CO2 amounts come after the temperature increase (or decrease). But I wouldn’t rely too much in that graph, as it belongs to the IPCC and British Survey, (the organization famous for the “discovery” of the ozone hole in 1985, when in truth, the “hole” or “southern Anomaly”, was discovered by George Dobson, back in 1957, during the first ever research done in Antarctica about the ozone layer).

    Graphs also responds to some way of ordering the data, and the IPCC has been famous for its “cherry picking” selection of data for their statistics. People only see the final graph, and almost never go into the laborious task of reading and analyzing the studies from where they derive. That’s also the habit of the so called “media” when they inform the public starting from a press release from scientists. Like the judges, that speak through their sentences, scientists should speak, not to the press by “press releases”, but by their well founded papers.

    Don’t worry. You can keep screwing over your children, if that’s what you enjoy doing.

    But, after rereading everything we already wrote, I don’t see clearly where are your trying to go. I assumed the opening question of the “long underlined red” tirade was yours, so I replied, but I am now wondering if it was not a quote from previous post by “overdoze” or “Bambi” (they gave graphs 1 and 2), one debater that went away from the forum when it became too technical for her. She was all emotion, fear, and media headlines, and no validated scientific facts. Am I right?

    Even my reply was a repetition of opinions and facts already given in posts appeared in August 2002!

    BTW, I don’t know, folks, about the weather up there in the North Hemisphere, but down here in the South we are having an abnormally cool weather. Perhaps we can blame Global Warming for that? Because “warming”, what anyone could call “warming”, we have not seen down here… and up there, if we recall your last winter, what happened can not be labeled as warming. Or may be the record breaking colds were caused by the infamous "global warming"?
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2003
  11. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Of course, the excess CO2 emitted by adult forests would come from the rotting leaves and dead trunks, plus some other bio processes related with humus formation. The notion that excess CO2 is produced by forests come from two independent studies, one in 1977 by George Woodwell, from the Marine Biological Laboratory, in Woods Hole, Mass., and other in 1978 by Bert Bolin, in Stockholm. These studies were mentioned by John Gribbin in his 1982 book “Future Weather”, published by Penguin Books, in Middlesex, (ISBN 0-1402-2459-9, original edition). John Gribbin is presently a “global warmer”, although at that time he had nothing clear, expressing lots of doubts and uncertainties – that remain, some unsolved and other unaccepted by the “warmers”, that see how their beautiful theory is being reduced to shreds by new evidences.

    Perhaps you can do your search on these studies (Gribbin does not supply any references in his book) by narrowing your search to those two years (1977-1978). Rereading Gribbin’s book, I doubt about the validity of those studies, because they relied on <b>“projections”</b> for the amount of forest being cut down. I dislike “Projections” and “trends” because trends never keep uniform or steady. If the growing trend of a two month bay keep that way, well end up having a 21-foot teenager!. Or, if the CO2 decreasing trend during the Eemian or Cretaceous kept going, we wouldn’t have CO2 today, and there would not exist vegetal or animal life on Earth. – even though the “global warmers” still name CO2 as a “pollutant”. I will translate what Gribbin says (my book is a Spanish translation from the original in English, so I will re-translate):

    <font color=blue>“Measurements in places as Mauna Loa presently give (1982) a CO2 accumulation equivalent to the approximate emission of 3 Giga tons (Gt) of carbon, or little less, every year. However, in 1978 and 1979, the amount of fossil fuel burned were 5,1 and 5,4 Gt of carbon, respectively. Much more than 2 Gt of carbon – some years more than 2.5 Gt – are absorbed by the oceans and other natural processes, perhaps the formation of limestone rock. Oceanographers and the oceanographic chemists say the oceans cannot absorb all this excess, and until Woodwell and Bolin demolished it, the typical argument was that a good proportion of CO2 was being absorbed by the biomass, stimulating forests into a greater growth, in view of the greater availability of CO2 for the photosynthesis. Now it seems that also can produce a net input of CO2 into the atmosphere, exacerbating the problem.”

    “Woodwell and Bolin, independently, used calculations of forest being destroyed every year in order to get a figure of the CO2 the biomass was emitting to the atmosphere. Bolin’s estimate was 1 GT by year, and Wodwell’s was 2 Gt by year, close enough for suggesting that both were close enough to the truth. Other more recent studies give similar results, and today is common to accept the notion that the biomass could very well be giving a small net contribution of CO2, but not as large as the 5 Gt or more of the fossil fuel release every year. The important contribution of all this work is that <b>“the CO2 sinks are much more important than the present theories can explain”.</B> Somehow, the oceans – or another thing – are absorbing more CO2 than the one we can explain; but there are no guaranties that they could keep absorbing so much if the amount of CO2 keeps increasing.”

    “An optimist would say that, if the sinks are so efficient, an increase of CO2 could stimulate them even further; a pessimist would say that if they have been absorbing that much CO2, now they must be almost full and can be unable to absorb the product of an ever increasing fossil fuel burning.”</font>

    As you can see, the key here is, they <b><font color=blue>“used calculations of forest being destroyed every year”</font></b>. The data of forest destruction in those years came from projections that later were shown to be wrong. They relied on those wrong projections, leaving aside reforestation data. Presently, reforestation is much more important than destruction of forests, because reforested areas – with new growing trees – are taking more CO2 from the air than mature forests that have a <b>Zero, or even a negative balance of CO2.</b> So I am still dubious about this issue of CO2 being emitted by biomass, mostly because is almost impossible to have precise and updated figures of forest destruction, CO2 being emitted by biomass, CO2 being absorbed by the sinks, CO2 being emitted by volcanoes, etc. Scientists are relying mostly on statistical “projections” and, as everybody knows. <b>“statistics are the most elegant way to lie” </b>

    Mi final thought is:
    <dir><b>“CO2 sinks have been working quite well during Earth’s history, showing that they managed to absorb all those 6.000 ppm of CO2 from the atmosphere during the Cretaceous (while the global mean temperature then was barely 1.5º C higher than today), and the sinks kept their absorbing capacity intact until today.” </b></dir>
    So, if the sinks were able to deal with 6.000 ppm easily, why can’t they deal with a mere 360 ppm, in an eventual doubling of CO2 proportion in our atmosphere?. They were not overwhelmed by those 6.000 ppm… then why bother with 360 ppm more? I know the “warmers” will say: those 360 ppm are the drop that will overflow the glass. I’d say, that volcanic activity during the Cretaceous was inputting more CO2 than present fossil fuel burning.

    The final line is: <b>forget CO2</b> and, if we want to know more about the future climate, let us concentrate on the Sun’s activity that, after all, is the major (I’d say the only one) source of heat for our beloved Spaceship Earth.
  12. BatM Member At Large Registered Senior Member

    I guess the questions that this would engender are:

    • What are the "sinks" (since you're eliminating forests)?
    • What are the effects of those sinks?
    • How have those sinks changed (if any) since the Cretaceous period (ie. have they gotten stronger or weaker)?
  13. BatM Member At Large Registered Senior Member

    Oh, I've been lurking around.

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    I didn't say anything about global warming, did I? They were just a few obvious questions based upon what Edufer posted.

    Regardless whether you think CO2 causes global warming or global warming causes CO2, there appears to be a correlation between the two.

    If, as Edufer suggested, the atmosphere had no problem with much greater concentrations of CO2 in the atmosphere (6000 ppm), then what's changed in recent history such that there's been the rise in the past century or so (~100ppm). Or are we talking about geologic timescales (everything balances out in the long run) such that there were (significant) imbalances in atmospheric CO2 for (geologically) short periods of time? In which case, how much further will things go before the balance mechanisms kick in (with the corresponding balancing of temperature)?

    Inquiring minds want to know...

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  14. BatM Member At Large Registered Senior Member

    So what you, Andre, seem to be saying (correct me if I'm wrong) is that the geologic data may have been interpretted incorrectly (due to the clathrate gun, etc.) and, therefore, the suggestion of high CO2 concentrations or high temperatures in the past are not to be trusted. Edufer, on the other hand, seems to be saying (again, correct me if I'm wrong) that the slow rise of CO2 in the last century is no big deal as there have been much larger concentrations in geologic history (namely 6000ppm in Cretaceous times).

    Am I close?
  15. BatM Member At Large Registered Senior Member

    If the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere rises and the biota is kept artificially in check (ie. man continues to cut down forests, etc.), at what point does the CO2 overwhelm the remaining biota?

    Just a stray thought that went through my head...
  16. Edufer Tired warrior Registered Senior Member

    Hi, BatM, missed you...

    Sorry for coming late to the forum -I have been having trouble with my phone line. It seems I must go for a radio connection, instead of phone. Much faster and cheaper too...

    You are right about correlation between CO2 and temperature. In the great graph you linked us to ( the correlation is quite clear, but... the only thing that shows clearly is <b>that CO2 increase comes after temperature increase</b> (go back there and check for yourself). That means simply that increased temperatures produced an increase of CO2. Why? because higher tremperatures place better conditions (bigger areas of ice retreat) for animal and vegetal life, known producers of CO2.

    Carbon sinks are all living matter on Earth. All animal and human bones are composed of calcium carbonate. Also, ocean floors are tremendous sinks for carbon, and sea life is also a powerful carbon sink (fish skeletons, oyster and clamshells, etc.). But the biggest CO2 sink are oceans (diluted CO2), of course, and they can hold an amount of CO2 that cannot be calculated. They say they can, but figures are always turning wrong on that subject.

    Hey, heard about snowing in Moscow in June? The last snow was 40 years ago (1963). Russian would like very much if the world warmed a little. And the snowfalls here in the Southern Hemisphere have anticipated by a full month, blocking hundreds of unaware trucks drivers in the high pass between Argentina and Chile in the Andes.

    Forests are not good sinks for CO2, as Bert Bolin and George Woodwell showed back in 1978. So don't worry about forest being cut because the thruth is just the opposite: forests are being replaced worldwide faster than they are cut down. Statistics abound on this subject.
  17. BatM Member At Large Registered Senior Member

    Easy, Edufer. You'll note I haven't been arguing global warming. I'm just asking a few questions.

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  19. wet1 Wanderer Registered Senior Member

    Giant Arctic ice shelf breaks up

    Monday, September 22, 2003 Posted: 4:04 PM EDT (2004 GMT)

    Melting ice in the Arctic Circle


    • Geophysical Research Letters

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- The largest ice shelf in the Arctic, a solid feature for 3,000 years, has broken up, scientists in the United States and Canada said on Monday.

    They said the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory, broke into two main parts, themselves cut through with fissures. A freshwater lake drained into the sea, the researchers reported.

    Large ice islands also calved off from the shelf and some are large enough to be dangerous to shipping and to drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.

    Local warming of the climate is to blame, they said -- adding that they did not have the evidence needed to link the melting ice to the steady, planet-wide climate change known as global warming.

    Warwick Vincent and Derek Mueller of Laval University in Quebec City, Canada, and Martin Jeffries of the University of Alaska Fairbanks lived at the site, flew over it and used radar satellite imaging for their study.

    Writing in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, Vincent's team said all of the fresh water poured out of the 20 mile (30 km) long Disraeli Fjord.

    This in turn has affected communities of freshwater and marine species of plankton and algae, said Mueller, a graduate student who has studied the tiny creatures.

    Only 100 years ago the whole northern coast of Ellesmere Island, which is the northernmost land mass of North America, was edged by a continuous ice shelf. About 90 percent of it is now gone, Vincent's team wrote.

    The area has been getting warmer, they said. A similar trend in the Antarctic has caused the break-up of huge ice shelves there.

    "There's a regional trend in warming that cycles back 150 years," Mueller said in a telephone interview. "I am not comfortable linking it to global warming. It is difficult to tease out what is due to global warming and what is due to regional warming."

    Records indicate an increase of four-tenths of a degree centigrade every 10 years since 1967. The average July temperature has been 1.3 degrees Celsius or 34 degrees F -- just above the freezing point -- since 1967.

    Climate change has affected ocean temperature, salinity and flow patterns, which also influence the break-up of ice shelves in the Antarctic. "It's not just as simple as it gets x degrees warmer and the ice melts this much," Mueller said.

    Warmer temperatures weaken the ice, leaving it vulnerable to changed currents and other forces.


    Copyright 2003 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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    Melting ice in the Arctic Circle


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