Dependable Erection

Monday, December 10, 2007

Media watching

I really don't have the time to be a full time media critic. It's also not terribly rewarding, unless your name is Howard Kurtz.

Here's the N&O's Nation/World page.

Here's the Herald-Sun's.

What's missing from the latter? (Hint - the John Locke Foundation would probably approve.)

By the way, you can find the missing report on the H-S site, you just have to search for it.

Labels: ,

5 Comments:

  • Maybe this is why...

    Skeptical Scientists Urge World To ‘Have the Courage to Do Nothing' At UN Conference

    BALI, Indonesia - An international team of scientists skeptical of man-made climate fears promoted by the UN and former Vice President Al Gore, descended on Bali this week to urge the world to "have the courage to do nothing" in response to UN demands.

    [snip]

    http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=Minority.Blogs&ContentRecord_id=c9554887-802a-23ad-4303-68f67ebd151c

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:49 AM  

  • You can get anything into the public record these days, can't you?

    Inhofe is a fucking moron (technical term). The movement to deny that climate change is taking place and is the result of human activity is reminiscent of nothing so much as the Catholic Church attempting to deny the discovery that the earth was not the center of universe.

    The difference, of course, is that if morons like you wait as long as the Churhc did to recognize what was in fact going on, we'll all be dead.

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 10:56 AM  

  • An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.

    Greenland's ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer's end was half what it was just four years earlier, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by The Associated Press.

    "The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.

    Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.

    This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."

    So scientists in recent days have been asking themselves these questions: Was the record melt seen all over the Arctic in 2007 a blip amid relentless and steady warming? Or has everything sped up to a new climate cycle that goes beyond the worst case scenarios presented by computer models?

    "The Arctic is often cited as the canary in the coal mine for climate warming," said Zwally, who as a teenager hauled coal. "Now as a sign of climate warming, the canary has died. It is time to start getting out of the coal mines."

    It is the burning of coal, oil and other fossil fuels that produces carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, responsible for man-made global warming. For the past several days, government diplomats have been debating in Bali, Indonesia, the outlines of a new climate treaty calling for tougher limits on these gases.

    What happens in the Arctic has implications for the rest of the world. Faster melting there means eventual sea level rise and more immediate changes in winter weather because of less sea ice.

    In the United States, a weakened Arctic blast moving south to collide with moist air from the Gulf of Mexico can mean less rain and snow in some areas, including the drought-stricken Southeast, said Michael MacCracken, a former federal climate scientist who now heads the nonprofit Climate Institute. Some regions, like Colorado, would likely get extra rain or snow.

    More than 18 scientists told The AP that they were surprised by the level of ice melt this year.

    "I don't pay much attention to one year ... but this year the change is so big, particularly in the Arctic sea ice, that you've got to stop and say, 'What is going on here?' You can't look away from what's happening here," said Waleed Abdalati, NASA's chief of cyrospheric sciences. "This is going to be a watershed year."

    2007 shattered records for Arctic melt in the following ways:

    • 552 billion tons of ice melted this summer from the Greenland ice sheet, according to preliminary satellite data to be released by NASA Wednesday. That's 15 percent more than the annual average summer melt, beating 2005's record.

    • A record amount of surface ice was lost over Greenland this year, 12 percent more than the previous worst year, 2005, according to data the University of Colorado released Monday. That's nearly quadruple the amount that melted just 15 years ago. It's an amount of water that could cover Washington, D.C., a half-mile deep, researchers calculated.

    • The surface area of summer sea ice floating in the Arctic Ocean this summer was nearly 23 percent below the previous record. The dwindling sea ice already has affected wildlife, with 6,000 walruses coming ashore in northwest Alaska in October for the first time in recorded history. Another first: the Northwest Passage was open to navigation.

    • Still to be released is NASA data showing the remaining Arctic sea ice to be unusually thin, another record. That makes it more likely to melt in future summers. Combining the shrinking area covered by sea ice with the new thinness of the remaining ice, scientists calculate that the overall volume of ice is half of 2004's total.

    • Alaska's frozen permafrost is warming, not quite thawing yet. But temperature measurements 66 feet deep in the frozen soil rose nearly four-tenths of a degree from 2006 to 2007, according to measurements from the University of Alaska. While that may not sound like much, "it's very significant," said University of Alaska professor Vladimir Romanovsky.

    Greenland, in particular, is a significant bellwether. Most of its surface is covered by ice. If it completely melted — something key scientists think would likely take centuries, not decades — it could add more than 22 feet to the world's sea level.

    However, for nearly the past 30 years, the data pattern of its ice sheet melt has zigzagged. A bad year, like 2005, would be followed by a couple of lesser years.

    According to that pattern, 2007 shouldn't have been a major melt year, but it was, said Konrad Steffen, of the University of Colorado, which gathered the latest data.

    "I'm quite concerned," he said. "Now I look at 2008. Will it be even warmer than the past year?"

    Other new data, from a NASA satellite, measures ice volume. NASA geophysicist Scott Luthcke, reviewing it and other Greenland numbers, concluded: "We are quite likely entering a new regime."

    Melting of sea ice and Greenland's ice sheets also alarms scientists because they become part of a troubling spiral.

    White sea ice reflects about 80 percent of the sun's heat off Earth, NASA's Zwally said. When there is no sea ice, about 90 percent of the heat goes into the ocean which then warms everything else up. Warmer oceans then lead to more melting.

    "That feedback is the key to why the models predict that the Arctic warming is going to be faster," Zwally said. "It's getting even worse than the models predicted."

    NASA scientist James Hansen, the lone-wolf researcher often called the godfather of global warming, on Thursday will tell scientists and others at a meeting of researchers in San Francisco that in some ways Earth has hit one of his so-called tipping points, based on Greenland melt data.

    "We have passed that and some other tipping points in the way that I will define them," Hansen said in an e-mail. "We have not passed a point of no return. We can still roll things back in time — but it is going to require a quick turn in direction."

    Last year, Cecilia Bitz at the University of Washington and Marika Holland at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado startled their colleagues when they predicted an Arctic free of sea ice in just a few decades. Both say they are surprised by the dramatic melt of 2007.

    Bitz, unlike others at NASA, believes that "next year we'll be back to normal, but we'll be seeing big anomalies again, occurring more frequently in the future." And that normal, she said, is still a "relentless decline" in ice.

    Link

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 3:33 PM  

  • There's a reason it's called GREENland. If it was good enough for Leif Ericson, it's good enough for me.

    I'm still waiting for these same climate "scientists" to tell us why the ozone hole over the antarctic got BIGGER after they banned CFCs. When they figure that one out they can claim to predict the weather 100 years into the future.

    And just once try to show enough class to answer someone without dropping an f-bomb. I know you're in Durham, but give it a try.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:41 PM  

  • Fuck you.

    That's my New York upbringing; got nothing to do with Durham.

    To answer your idiotic question, the earth is a very big place. Change, generally, happens slowly. The damage from a couple of decades of CFC's (not unlike the damage from a couple of centuries of burning fossil fuels) will continue to unfold over time. Hopefully that concept is not too difficult for someone of your obvious intelligence and educational skills to grasp. To quote from the NASA Ozone Watch page:
    " The part of the story that fewer people know is that while the chlorine atoms freed from CFCs do ultimately destroy ozone, the destruction doesn’t happen immediately. Most of the roaming chlorine that gets separated from CFCs actually becomes part of two chemicals that—under normal atmospheric conditions—are so stable that scientists consider them to be long-term reservoirs for chlorine. So how does the chlorine get out of the reservoir each spring?

    Under normal atmospheric conditions, the two chemicals that store most atmospheric chlorine (hydrochloric acid, and chlorine nitrate) are stable. But in the long months of polar darkness over Antarctica in the winter, atmospheric conditions are unusual. An endlessly circling whirlpool of stratospheric winds called the polar vortex isolates the air in the center. Because it is completely dark, the air in the vortex gets so cold that clouds form, even though the Antarctic air is extremely thin and dry. Chemical reactions take place that could not take place anywhere else in the atmosphere. These unusual reactions can occur only on the surface of polar stratospheric cloud particles, which may be water, ice, or nitric acid, depending on the temperature.

    These reactions convert the inactive chlorine reservoir chemicals into more active forms, especially chlorine gas (Cl2). When the sunlight returns to the South Pole in October, UV light rapidly breaks the bond between the two chlorine atoms, releasing free chlorine into the stratosphere, where it takes part in reactions that destroy ozone molecules while regenerating the chlorine (known as a catalytic reaction). A catalytic reaction allows a single chlorine atom to destroy thousands of ozone molecules. Bromine is involved in a second catalytic reaction with chlorine that contributes a large fraction of ozone loss. The ozone hole grows throughout the early spring until temperatures warm and the polar vortex weakens, ending the isolation of the air in the polar vortex. As air from the surrounding latitudes mixes into the polar region, the ozone-destroying forms of chlorine disperse. The ozone layer stabilizes until the following spring. "

    By Blogger Barry Ragin, at 8:30 AM  

Post a Comment

<< Home