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New images from space show giant swaths of melting over Antarctica in 2005. Melting is indicated in red, orange, and yellow.  (Source: nationalgeographic.com)
Most studies and data collection indicate that the Arctic ice cap is melting, now a new study shows the Antarctic ice cap is also losing mass

DailyTech blogger Michael Asher recently wrote an article which indicated that Antarctica's ice cap was thickening.  The article cited a study by the British Cambridge Centre for Polar Observations.  The Center's study, published in July 2006, stated that Antarctic ice mass was increasing by 27±29Gtyr-1.  The study had an admittedly large range of error that was in fact larger than the predicted increase.  The large error range was attributed to difficulties in predicting snow density.

Another major study, which contradicts the Cambridge Centre's results was released a few months before.  The study was conducted by major U.S. research institute CIRES, a joint institute comprised of Colorado University-Boulder and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  The study was published in the journal Science Express in March 2006. 

The study used two NASA satellites to examine the mass of Antarctica's ice cover.  The satellites would experience variable gravitational pull as they passed over the poles, depending on the mass of snow cover.  This technique allowed the study to predict the mass of snow at the poles much more precisely, with a smaller range of error than the Cambridge Centre's study.

The CIRES study discovered that Antarctic ice mass was actually decreasing, at a rate of
152 ± 80 cubic kilometers of ice per year.  The Cambridge Centre's study actually might predict an increase or a decrease, but the CIRES study clearly reports a decrease.

Further, the CIRES study indicates the decrease in ice mass would lead to
0.4 ± 0.2 millimeters of global sea-level rise per year.  This would mean that over 100 years, the loss in Antarctic ice mass would lead to global sea level rising 4 cm, as the ice is on bedrock.  These gradually rising sea levels would likely lead to loss of habitable land in coastal areas, such as Florida and California.  Also, the large amount of water displaced into the ocean, would likely disrupt the ocean's currents, causing unpredictable climate changes.

Furthermore, other studies and data over recent years have indicated that large areas of Antarctic ice which had not previously thawed are now freezing and rethawing each year.  This may eventually lead to even greater loss of ice mass.

As mentioned in Michael Asher's article, there is consensus in the scientific community that the Arctic ice cap is melting, and many studies indicate it is melting at a rate far faster than predicted.

While critics deride global warming and climate change models as being overly pessimistic, it turns out they may be too optimistic in their predictions of climate change.  A more recent study by CIRES indicates that the Arctic ice caps are melting at a rate that is far faster than that predicted by any of the current climate models.  The actual data paints a picture of Arctic ice melt far bleaker than that in the models.

While the melting of the Arctic ice cap will not increase sea levels, it will destroy the Arctic biosphere.  It will most likely lead to the extinction in the wild of many species include large mammals, such as the polar bear and various arctic seals.  This unfortunate loss of biodiversity may be an unprecedented ecological event.  If global warming is a result of human behavior--industrialization, deforestation, and/or domestication--as many theories predict, then the impending extinction would mark the first time a single species single-handedly destroyed a major ecosystem.

The melting of Arctic ice cap may not lead to sea levels rising, but the melting of the ice cover on neighboring Greenland, certainly will.  A new major ongoing study by the University of Reading in Britain is investigating the rate of melting.  Its finding are that Greenland's average temperature only needs to increase by 3 degrees Celsius to melt its ice-sheet, and that significant melting is likely to occur over the next century.

The study indicates that over 1000 years the melting of Greenland's ice cover will raise sea levels by 7 meters.  This equals an increase of over 2 feet a century.  Combined with the CIRES study's predictions for the Antarctic melt, this means that sea levels could rise by over 3 ft in the next century.  As mentioned, this would have numerous negative social and climatological effects.

As new studies and data emerge, a clear picture of melting at both poles emerges.  Whether we can reverse this melting with technology, or whether we are too late remains to be seen.  However, though the cost may be high, the ramifications of inaction may be far worse.  Coastal land loss, chaotic weather from violent thunderstorms to droughts and flooding, and irreversible loss of biodiversity are among the dire consequences of inaction.  Admittedly, many of the details of climate change are not understood, so people need to avoid jumping to hasty conclusions, absolutely.  However, the threat of these consequences and effects (good and/or bad) leaves no doubt that this is a significant topic to the future of mankind's habitation of Earth and much scientific research needs to be done to more precisely understand what is causing global warming, and a creative examination of if it is within the means of modern technology to fix it.




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But wait...
By Polynikes on 9/15/2007 2:54:03 PM , Rating: 1
I just read this:
http://www.dailytech.com/Antarctic+Ice+Levels+Hit+...

Who's right? How do they measure the ice mass? Clearly someone's fudging the numbers or they have very different ways of measuring the ice mass.

Either way, I'm done listening to any arguments on global warming, no matter who's saying what. This is completely ridiculous. Stupid scientists letting politics muddle up what should be completely objective research.




RE: But wait...
By noirsoft on 9/15/2007 3:02:08 PM , Rating: 2
Um, this article links (in the first sentence!) to the one you cite and is offerred as a direct rebuttal to that.

Did you read either article, or are you just enjoying the back-and-forth over global warming?


RE: But wait...
By Polynikes on 9/15/2007 4:47:54 PM , Rating: 2
I realize they brought in Jason Mick to offer a different viewpoint from Michael Asher's blog posts, and these two articles are obviously meant to show both sides of the debate. I just think it's ridiculous that a bunch of intelligent people can't arrive at some sort of consensus on the exact same research.


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/15/2007 6:15:07 PM , Rating: 1
The consensus is that both ice poles are melting and will continue to melt into the near future due to the planet warming from human activity. There's still debate about how fast the melting will occur.


RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 6:26:02 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, where do you see consensus? There are clearly studies that appear on the surface to contradict one another.

I'd have to say, however, that a three-year drop doesn't seem to me to be very statistically signficant when considering some aspect of global climate change. It would seem logical to me to look over a much longer period to deduce trends. After all, it's not like we just all of a sudden started emitting CO2 in 2001.


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/15/2007 7:46:18 PM , Rating: 1
Here's some data on the arctic ice that you may not have seen:

http://www.nsidc.org/news/press/2007_seaiceminimum...


RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 7:51:48 PM , Rating: 2
It's still not consensus - don't change the subject.


RE: But wait...
By mars777 on 9/16/2007 10:11:12 PM , Rating: 3
Before we get to a consensus the earth might blow up... to much lobbists on this planet :)


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/17/2007 7:34:05 PM , Rating: 2
Ok, I'm not surprised to see troll rating when I'm mean or posting something completely off topic, but this post is just the supporting data for the arctic melting phenomenon we're experiencing. If you look at the title of the blog, you can see that it's related information.

I'm not the only one posting off-topic comments, yet it seems like I'm getting the troll rating now irrespective of what I write. Apparently even if it's completely related and just supporting information. There are plenty of other comments that should have been troll-rated before this one.


RE: But wait...
By Polynikes on 9/15/2007 7:44:27 PM , Rating: 2
Uh, yeah, the other article (http://www.dailytech.com/Antarctic+Ice+Levels+Hit+... ) says the ice mass actually got larger. That's not a consensus.


RE: But wait...
By Zurtex on 9/16/2007 7:48:16 AM , Rating: 3
Science rarely has a single view point during its development. Having multiple arguments helps science.

Having 2 people argue different points of views, who aren't scientists, just accounts for free speech. Doing it in a media forum helps everyone be aware of both sides of the debate.


RE: But wait...
By masher2 (blog) on 9/16/2007 10:32:48 AM , Rating: 2
> "Science rarely has a single view point during its development. Having multiple arguments helps science"

Exactly. And what you're seeing in these articles is a microcosm of the climate debate raging in science journals. I think it's invaluable that real people see it.

Despite's Jason's claims of "wanting to provide both sides of the issue", the fact remains that one side is already being drastically overpresented in the media. There are hundreds of environmental reporters, working for publications with thousands of times the readership of Dailytech, who do nothing but scan the journals. Any paper which doesn't support the alarmist point of view is ignored; any which does hits headline status.

It's no wonder many laymen believe there's a consensus. It's all they're being presented with.


RE: But wait...
By cheetah2k on 9/17/2007 12:59:10 AM , Rating: 2
This is just a classic example like the Mobile Phone debate - does it really cause cancer?

Some say yes, others say no - and the people in between just say "just use in moderation"...

Who do we believe??

All i can say with certainty is, people will keep buying phones, cars and industry will keep polluting the air. If there is both an increase in cancer and decrease in the polar ice caps in the next 20 years, then someone will be the winner..


RE: But wait...
By tcsenter on 9/17/2007 4:59:47 PM , Rating: 1
quote:
I just think it's ridiculous that a bunch of intelligent people can't arrive at some sort of consensus on the exact same research.
A bunch of people have arrived at a consensus: global climate patterns and conditions remained largely unchanged, non-fluctuating and non-cyclical by any substantial extent, steady-as-she-goes for the past few hundred thousand years up until circa 30 ~ 40 years ago, at which point global climate trends began to depart from this nice-and-consistent 'norm'; and all of this was inferred from evidence that goes back not more than 30 ~ 40 of the most recent years on a planet that has been inhabitable for at least a few hundred million years.

Oh wait, you asked for a bunch of intelligent people...nevermind!


RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/17/2007 5:34:49 PM , Rating: 2
LOL, that's good.


RE: But wait...
By Polynikes on 9/19/2007 8:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
Don't believe everything you read. Clearly there is not a consensus about what is causing any recent changes in weather and climate patterns, despite what your sources have told you.

There may be a consensus that there's been a change, but there's nothing conclusive and widely-accepted that definitely points it towards our own "contributions."


RE: But wait...
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/15/2007 3:41:29 PM , Rating: 4
I agree that it is indeed hard to tell what is truly objective research, especially on such a contentious issue.

My point in writing this article was to illustrate that there are numerous studies which take an opposing viewpoint to the studies cited by Michael Asher in his article.

My reason for doing this is not to try to stir up controversy or to create a fight. Rather it is to present both sides of the issue, which is what my intention of writing for Dailytech originally was.

Michael Asher is obviously quite intelligent and is a persuasive debater, however he is also logical--he himself has admitted during our debates that there are definitely studies which have conclusions counter to those he cites. However, most would not realize this if they merely read the content of his articles.

My concern is simply if people only see one side of the issue, one study that says "Antarctic ice thickening" most people will just accept that as the given truth without doing their own research.

A person like Mike would go out there and do their own research and realize that their is not a consensus, however, most wouldn't want to spend this amount of time and effort.

So my goal is to save you the time of researching the topic by presenting you the other opinion, the counter argument to Michael's, as best as I can, supported by studies I read and come across.

Also there are some issues that no scientific study is going to answer. For example, is it wrong to put industrial growth first, even if it results in extinction of all large predator species such as whales, lions, tigers, and polar bears? You can make many scientific arguments for and against, but ultimately this a moral issue, that people as a whole will need to examine and come to grips with.

My goal is certainly to present an opposing viewpoint to Michael's, but (except when I get worked up =P) I will try to do so respectfully and scientifically.

If you disagree with my articles, I welcome you to comment on them, a lively dialog is always something positive. And if you agree with my conclusions, I don't mind you saying that either!


RE: But wait...
By AlexWade on 9/15/2007 4:02:18 PM , Rating: 2
Jason, please read this study:
http://64.119.172.31/awpf.pdf

And then please answer me this. Why did Johannesburg South Africa have 50+ days of below normal temperatures and the first snow in decades?


RE: But wait...
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/15/2007 4:43:04 PM , Rating: 2
Thanks!

I found that an interesting read. If the ice mass is indeed shrinking as the gravitational data indicates from the study I cited, yet the surface area is expanding as the study you cited indicates, it seems like one possible explanation might be sea temperatures/convective warming from sea currents might be to blame. You could have a thinner, more spread out ice sheet, which would satisfy both trends.

I've personally been examining historical temperature data in major U.S. cities and have found net increase trends. However, strangely Texas showed almost no change.

There is definitely some strange seemingly contradictory weather data.

However it is almost complete scientific consensus that the Arctic is warming.

For better or worse, that seems to be why critics choose to focus their energy and data crunching on the South Pole, a more debatable scenario.


RE: But wait...
By AlexWade on 9/16/2007 9:04:52 PM , Rating: 2
From what I've studied, it seems the Southern Hemisphere is getting colder. But, the vast majority of land and people live in the Northern Hemisphere. Therefore, things that happen south of the equator are noticed less. That is a theory.

Thanks for your reply.


RE: But wait...
By Polynikes on 9/15/2007 4:51:43 PM , Rating: 2
I understand why you're offering a different viewpoint, that's all well and good. I just think it's strange how two groups can have such differing opinions on the same research topic. (Not just global warming, the more specific topic of ice mass.) You guys can keep on debating, and when you all figure it out and have some sort of consensus, let me know. :)


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/15/2007 6:00:15 PM , Rating: 1
Thanks for putting up the data on this blog. I knew Asher would omit something critical with regards to the science here. I saw this on Nasa's Jet propulsion lab site:

http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/news.cfm?release=2006...

Antarctic ice doesn't look like it's growing to me.

I can't tolerate the spin Michael(6%)Asher put on the articles/summaries he chose to present on global climate change. And he does it just to produce sound bites for radio personalities and bloggers and sometimes TV pundits to latch onto. All you have to do to prove this to yourself is do a google search on Michael Asher's titles/name and you'll see how his half-truths are spread.

Here's an example from a google search of his blog titled 'Survey: Less Than Half of all Published Scientists Endorse Global Warming Theory'

http://www.google.com/search?q=Survey%3A+Less+Than...

The actual study Michael(6%)Asher 'summarized' was not a survey of 'all published scientists' at all, nor was it even an attempt at a survey of published scientists. Rather it was a study published in Energy & Environment (a bottom-tier journal which didn't even make it into Journal Citation Reports, which lists the impact factors for the top 6000 peer-reviewed journals) that was a survey of conclusions from papers published in the climate change field. The title of that blog was completely misleading, but it does make a good sound-bite for those in denial or for those who are in a position to financially benefit from our continued dependence on fossil fuels.

Here's a link to an article that explains support for climate change among scientists pretty clearly:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/306/570...

So Michael(6%)Asher's completely misleading title even landed on U.S. senator's Inhofe (Oklahoma, I think) press blog, among other conservative media spots.

http://epw.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=...

Are you wondering why the US is doing nothing about climate change, even though the benefits of being more energy efficient and less dependent on foreign oil are multifold?

It's because people like Michael(6%)Asher, who has never published a peer-reviewed article or has any scientific experience in climate science, wants to take control of the results so he can distort them to his will, outside of the normal process in science (peer-review) that serves to ensure the scientific method is followed. It's a win-win for Asher because he gets his name in lights for doing NOTHING . Michael(6%)Asher's also getting paid (albeit indirectly) for doing this, but not through DT. I've said that before and I know it to be true.

What about the scientists who put decades into this very difficult research and the tax payers who paid for it and the people around the globe who would suffer the most from rapid climate change? I guess Michael(6%)Asher's personal gain is more important than all that effort and the potential well-being of millions.

Finally, for those of you who don't think this is an example of modern conservatism at work, just do some reading and you will see how media distortions, much like the one Michael(6%)Asher has brought us, have been used to manipulate Americans into believing a non-truth. The whole 'Saddam Hussein is trying to build nuclear weapons and could deliver them to US soil...must attack Iraq now' story is a good example where spin/lies were used to convince Americans that a shitty foreign policy decision would be a good one. And still, to this day, there are people who actually believe this lie, even though the White House has had to admit it was a lie.


RE: But wait...
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/15/2007 6:09:38 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Michael(6%)Asher's also getting paid (albeit indirectly) for doing this, but not through DT. I've said that before and I know it to be true.

I've privately and publicly stated to you that Michael nor Jason get paid for their blog entries -- neither by DailyTech or any other third party.

If you're so convinced of this fact, I suggest you put up some evidence or drop the accusation, because its getting very tired.


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/15/07, Rating: 0
RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 6:58:50 PM , Rating: 1
Translating from denial-speak to plain English, you are saying you have no evidence but you sure wish you did.


RE: But wait...
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/16/07, Rating: 0
RE: But wait...
By zombiexl on 9/17/2007 1:04:29 PM , Rating: 2
Nice argument, except for the fact that your proved nothing. I also find it interesting that you only mentioned 2 conservatives (both of which i dislike), but forgot the media's favorite son...

Michael Moore, who is probably the largest (in more ways that one) offender of placing propaganda before people a fact.

At least both sides here have some science to back them up. We can argue until the earth ceases to exist (from global warming, nuclear war, astroid collison, etc) about this and until somethign actually happens one way or another both sides will continue to be at odds.

If you dont like what MAsher and Jason have to say dont read their blogs.

If global warming is important to you then read all you can on the science from both sides and draw your own conclusions. Dont let anyone make up your mind for you, I know I dont.


RE: But wait...
By GeorgeOrwell on 9/16/07, Rating: -1
RE: But wait...
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/16/2007 7:11:10 AM , Rating: 5
quote:
By continuing to publish Michael Asher's lies, distortions, and half-truths, DailyTech shows that it directly supports the big oil agenda that Michael Asher promotes.

That is completely ridiculous. I've never once seen Michael endorse Big Oil over an alternative like nuclear power.

DailyTech has writers that span all facets of climate change and global warming. Jason Mick, Michael Hoffman and Tom Corelis are admitted environmental advocates. Nirav Sanghani is a full-time employee of the Barack Obama campaign -- I don't know how much further away from Big Oil you can get than that.

Very few publications put their neck out on the line by truly offering multiple viewpoints on a topic, and I'm very proud we represent both sides of debate.


RE: But wait...
By theflux on 9/17/2007 1:26:46 AM , Rating: 2
Don't take off your tinfoil hat! Dailytech has a mind ray given to them by "big oil"!


RE: But wait...
By zombiexl on 9/17/2007 1:19:59 PM , Rating: 2
do you get all your news from moveon.org? Agree with him or not Michael Asher does always provide very good sources for his blogs.

I dont see any source for your conclusion that everything he says is incorrect. Unless maybe you're afraid to post a moveon.org link..


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/17/2007 7:42:35 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Agree with him or not Michael Asher does always provide very good sources for his blogs.


There have been plenty of posts out there that show that Masher has actually presented non-peer reviewed data or old data that has since been shown to be inaccurate. If you would like, I can go through and summarize for you the instances where he did that. He even devoted an entire blog once to a peer-reviewed study that he did not interpret correctly.


RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 6:16:22 PM , Rating: 1
Rovemelt, your post is 99% smear and 1% information. If you reverse your ratios you might be more effective in getting a point across. As it is your post makes you sound like a raving lunatic, which I don't think is really the case. Let's get back to constructive debate!


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/15/07, Rating: 0
RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/15/07, Rating: 0
RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/15/2007 7:54:13 PM , Rating: 1
There are economic, environmental, and social advantages to investing in new technologies to make us more energy efficient. But even if you dismiss the environmental aspect, why do you consider it such a waste of money to invest in new energy sources and conservation? It's an INVESTMENT, meaning it will give us returns in the future.

Tommy, I ask you, is fighting in the middle east over oil a better way to spend a trillion dollars?


RE: But wait...
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 8:03:08 PM , Rating: 1
No, the Iraq war is a waste of resources. Iraqi oil would find its way to the market under any government, just as it always had. Iraqi freedom is not worth the cost to America, Britan, and the other participants - Bush made a poor decision in my opinion. I of course mean "cost" in the broader sense that includes the cost in terms of human lives.

And I should remind you that capital invested in pursuing alternative energy is capital that could have been spent doing other things - there is always opportunity cost. Economic efficiency is highly important, and we need to keep track of what we are investing in as a society to make sure we are using our resources wisely in order to ensure our economic future. For example, pissing away tons of money trying to fight CO2 is a waste of money. Subsidizing ethanol and other so-called "green" fuels with taxpayer dollars is also a waste of money.


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/17/2007 8:15:14 PM , Rating: 3
It's amazing that I actually agree with you on a few points.

But not this one:
quote:
For example, pissing away tons of money trying to fight CO2 is a waste of money.


Only if you're in complete denial with regards to global climate change.

It's not a waste of money...if you can do two jobs two different ways and one way is far more efficient, you choose the more efficient method. Especially when the energy source is a significant part of the cost of doing that job. And for so many things we do every day, energy costs are becoming a more significant part of operational expenditures and being more efficient in some cases takes a trivial investment.

I'm not even bothering to discuss the environmental aspect of our energy use with you: You are in complete denial and the only thing that will change your mind on that subject is a visit to the brain surgeon. So I don't bother trying to communicate with you on that level. I'm just now trying to convince you that doing something more energy efficiently has benefits.

If we invest in new energy technologies, we'll be better positioned to adapt as certain energy sources start to run out in the future. Even irrespective of what you believe regarding our petroleum reserves, having more energy options is good for consumers as it will actually help keep energy costs down as we have more ways to add capacity. As an example, more people will build solar farms if solar panels drop significanlty in price. But for the price for that technology to drop, someone has to put down the money for the expensive research. It might never be cost effective for any company to invest in research as it's just really expensive sometimes and that's why it sometimes becomes a project of national interest so we can make it happen.


RE: But wait...
By Ringold on 9/15/07, Rating: 0
RE: But wait...
By porkpie on 9/16/2007 10:16:17 AM , Rating: 1
quote:
But even if you dismiss the environmental aspect, why do you consider it such a waste of money to invest in new energy sources and conservation? It's an INVESTMENT, meaning it will give us returns in the future.
And now it comes out, just as always. The GW supporters don't even believe in it themselves. They support it because they believe scaring us into action might help some OTHER problem.

quote:
Tommy, I ask you, is fighting in the middle east over oil a better way to spend a trillion dollars?
Is it too much to ask for you to not mention the Iraq war in every single thread, regardless of what the real topic is?


RE: But wait...
By porkpie on 9/16/2007 10:08:01 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
I can't tolerate the spin Michael(6%)Asher put on the articles/summaries he chose to present
Translation: I believe in free speech-- as long as you don't say something that disagrees with me.


RE: But wait...
By Rovemelt on 9/17/2007 8:25:13 PM , Rating: 3
No, I don't rip into the peer-reviewed studies he's presented. I rip into his SPINNING of the data and findings, which I find very, very offensive. Hey, I can't stop Michael Asher from writing this blog...I do believe in free speech and he should be freely able to do what he is doing on his blog, even though I completely disagree with much, but not all of what he says. I am also exercising my freedom of speech on this blog...that's what I love about living in the US!


RE: But wait...
By greenchasch on 9/16/2007 10:18:44 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Are you wondering why the US is doing nothing about climate change
The US actually decreased emissions in 2006. Germany, Britain, Canada, all the other nations that signed Kyoto? Theirs went UP.


RE: But wait...
By Murst on 9/17/2007 9:59:24 AM , Rating: 2
Do you have a link to support that? First time I've heard of such a decrease.


RE: But wait...
By masher2 (blog) on 9/17/2007 10:09:04 AM , Rating: 1
It was in the news a few months ago, but it understandably didn't get a lot of press. I reported it in one of my past blogs:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/artic...


RE: But wait...
By Murst on 9/17/2007 1:13:50 PM , Rating: 2
Ah, cool, didn't know that.

Although from the link you provided, it seems the reason for not much press is because the emissions were lower due to circumstance.

Still, it is definetaly better news than rising emissions! :)

I'm getting the feeling that once we're not the major polluters of the planet (for example, once China is responsible for most pollution), our government's stance on it would be more willing to change (we'd see an increased benefit from adding a cap since more reduction would have to happen from other countries, whereas right now most of the reduction has to come from the USA).


RE: But wait...
By masher2 (blog) on 9/16/2007 10:40:59 AM , Rating: 3
> "Asher's also getting paid (albeit indirectly) for doing this"

I'm not getting paid, but hundreds of other environmental reporters do get paid for spreading their point of view. Here's one such example-- Andrew Revkin, head environmental reporter for the NYT for the last 12 years. A recent interview with Revkin illustrates just how unbiased he is on the issue:
quote:
Revkin also enjoys spreading the global warming gospel through artistic mediums. At the end of his lecture, Revkin donned a guitar and sang, “Liberated Carbon,” a song from his band ... The lyrics for the chorus were, “Satan said/ come liberate carbon it’ll spin your wheels/ liberate carbon, it’ll nuke your meals/ liberate some carbon baby, it’s the American way
http://phoenix.swarthmore.edu/2007-04-12/news/1720...

Does anyone here truly believe this is the voice of unbiased, objective reporting?


RE: But wait...
By Proteusza on 9/17/2007 7:04:35 AM , Rating: 3
Even if you can prove that the ice sheets are sinking (which we already know is quite difficulty) you cant prove that man is to blame.

I dont doubt man's impact on the environment - deforestation should be a crime punishable by the harshest penalty.

but I dont think that man is having as big an impact on climate as commonly claimed. The climate is getting warmer, of that I have no doubt, but I doubt that man is the sole cause, seeing as how temperatures have gradually warmed over the last 1000 years.

The climate of the Earth naturally does fluctuate over long periods of time.


RE: But wait...
By masher2 (blog) on 9/15/2007 5:19:33 PM , Rating: 4
> "Who's right? How do they measure the ice mass?"

It might be best to summarize the research from each article. Mine listed results from two reseach teams. One measured 30 years of SH sea ice mass (which includes Antarctic ice + all ice in the ocean around it). The second measured Antarctic ice only, for a 13-year period. Both measurements indicating a rising trend.

Jason's study, on the other hand, measured Antarctic ice (ignoring sea ice), and measured only for the brief three-year period 2002-2005.

So while it seems the results are contradictory (and indeed they may be), they're not neccesarily so.


RE: But wait...
By Screwballl on 9/16/07, Rating: -1
Human Cost
By Ringold on 9/15/2007 3:45:05 PM , Rating: 5
I'm sure someone else with debate the climate science points but I have and continue to not believe the high human cost dogma.

First, some assumptions. Let us assume that we have these 3ft of sea level rise over the next 100 years. Let us also assume global economic growth continues unhindered, as all indications suggest that it will. Finally, lets assume that at the end of another century of technological advancement, if we are in fact certain that climates current changes are bad and haven't figured out a workable solution, we all deserve to be BBQ'd, thus rendering the debate past 100 or so useless. This seems reasonable to me as there have already been several suggested grand solutions with admittedly trillion-plus dollar likely price tags.

Given that, with the only real assumption not taken from the article being that economic and technological advancement continues despite the plight of farmers on marginal African land, we can consider the consequences.

Sea level rise is often, as it is here, thought for some reason to lead to horrible redistribution of the population as they run screaming from a monster un-ending 3-foot tsunami that consumes their beach-front villa's that were, just yesterday, on perfectly solid ground. Do you see the sarcasm here?

Florida receives, if you believe real-estate agent propaganda, 1000 new residents per day from out of state. Are these people fleeing a mass catastrophe in the South? The North? Are mutant snow men killing thousands and dislocating millions of fleeing 'snow birds'? No. Uncomfortable weather simply induces a massive, steady flow of immigration from the states up North to the sun belt states; Florida and Texas being a big example. My own calculations suggest more like 800 people a day moving to Florida, or almost 300,000 a year to one state alone. The total movement south of the Mason-Dixon line and west to California and its neighboring states is likely much, much larger.

Is this wrecking the lives of cold-winter refugees? No. Does it have negative economic consequences? Quite the contrary; if it didn't improve peoples total personal utilities, they wouldn't of moved.

Sea rise could result in much the same response. If government allows a lasseiz-faire approach (unlike Florida with our socialized homeowners insurance) to insurance, or perhaps if it must do anything at all then raising property taxes along the coast, then slowly insurance companies will raise rates along areas expected to ultimately be threatened with water to the point where a trickle of people moving inland to safer, cheaper locales empties the coast of all but the most wealthy individuals who either pay for the high risk in insurance or go uninsured in the knowledge they will lose their property.

Some places, like Manhattan, may need to take the Netherlands approach if cost-benefit analysis suggests slowly relocating the capital stock on the coast over a century would be more costly than building a sea wall. Again, a very tiny cost distributed over decades.

Meanwhile, people in Memphis and thousands of other cities will not even take note of sea rise.

But, you might say, we're a developed country! What of Africa? India? China?

China and India both are experiencing plenty of economic growth to make the situation one we needn't concern ourselves about. What of Africa, then?

Rwanda, having come out of the UN-sanctioned genocide (you know its happening, and then "redeploy", its sanctioned) and ultimately being led by an American-educated president, has realized that the best way to confront the challenges of the future is to grow the economy fast enough that all challenges can be absorbed. It's growth has been astonishing, a model the rest of Africa ought to follow. Climate change will impact them no harder than it will Alabama.

All of these are reasons why environmentalists and climate scientists whine and make shrill sounds in isolation, not being joined by economists (except the bought and paid for variety). They've got more important things to study -- issues that actually impact people. Whatever the costs could be they will not be significant in the aggregate and far from what a free market can adjust to over decades, especially if not hobbled by government restrictions.

Can moral arguments be made for saving species? Sure. Regardless of global warming, global cooling, or anything inbetween, the consensus is that by 2200 we'll still be a fantastically wealthy planet compared to presently; thus, speaking of human cost is a massive red herring. There are much larger fish to fry, such as corrupt governance (ex:Zimbabwe). The only thing that can derail the prosperity gravy train after hundreds of years of rolling along would be a massive rise in the forces of socialism, plain and simple.




RE: Human Cost
By Ringold on 9/15/2007 4:12:30 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
As recently as 2006, a group of economists known as the Copenhagen Consensus - including a number of Nobel laureates - concluded that carbon taxes ranked last in terms of global economic priorities, behind issues like communicable disease, water, sanitation, education and migration. Dead last. In other words, the costs severely outweigh the benefits.

Simply put: There is no climate policy that could curb greenhouse gases enough to slow global warming to any appreciable degree without ruining the global economy.

Low-impact, feel-good measures like biofuel subsidies and carbon taxes will only hurt us economically, making us more vulnerable to any threat we might face. But keeping government out of the economy - particularly the energy sector - gives us a better shot at staying wealthy and healthy.


http://eteam.ncpa.org/commentaries/irrational-oil-...

That lays it out pretty well, pointing out that both liberals and conservatives on the extreme ends of both are running around with tin-foil hats on. I've directly quoted the end of it, but the blog is short and worthy of being read.


RE: Human Cost
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/15/2007 4:27:16 PM , Rating: 4
I see the chief reason for developing biofuels and alternative energy is common sense--we are sooner or later going to run out of oil, our chief source of energy.

While todays science may not have an answer to global warming, future science may, and even if a way to deal with it is never found, at least it may allow us to predict what kind of changes we will need to make to avoid its effect (ie. population relocation, drought resistant crops etc.)

I agree that there are many other more pressing issues facing our world. However, I also feel that the topic is worth spending some scientific energy, so to speak on.

I think the destruction of the rainforest is often overshadowed by global warming, and it is a much more immediate and significant problem.

Also the crisis of arms proliferation (weapons dealing to third world countries) is a problem I find particularly important. It causes loss of human life, economic damage, and environmental damage.

I agree with your statements somewhat, but I still feel that the issue is worth discussing and analyzing.


RE: Human Cost
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 4:37:10 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I see the chief reason for developing biofuels and alternative energy is common sense--we are sooner or later going to run out of oil, our chief source of energy.

We already have a system in place to solve this problem. It's called a market.

In other words, as oil becomes scarce, its supply will fall, and prices will rise. That makes other sources of energy relatively less expensive, and so investment in and utilization of alternate energy will increase. Furthermore, increased value in oil allows more sophisticated and expensive methods to be used to extract it, thus helping balance demand especially in the short term.

Therefore "running out of oil" is therefore nothing to fear.


RE: Human Cost
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/15/2007 4:51:05 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
In other words, as oil becomes scarce, its supply will fall, and prices will rise.


Obviously.
This is what is currently occurring. Oil companies try to blame it on low refinery output, but they are conscious of the reality that their supplies will soon become scarce, and their pricing likely reflects this to some extent.

I think this is why you are now seeing an increased interest in alternative energy. My only concern is that we will not have a mass produceable, distributed solution to solve the energy crisis that will inevitably occur when oil runs out, unless we pay alternative energy more serious thought.

While human ingenuity and capitalist spirit, will eventually surmount any sort of technological recession that may occur in the aftermath of running out of oil, it would be far better to never have it happen in the first place by having an established alternative and switching over before we have to because we have run out.

I think people realize this and this is why big companies are starting to invest in alternative energy.

You didn't think they were doing it to stop global warming and feel good about "saving the environment" did you?


RE: Human Cost
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 6:06:43 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
This is what is currently occurring. Oil companies try to blame it on low refinery output, but they are conscious of the reality that their supplies will soon become scarce, and their pricing likely reflects this to some extent.

If that were true, you'd be seeing declining production of oil over the past few years, which is not the case. Ref. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:GlobalCrudeOilP...

In addition, refinery capacity is related to the cost of refinery outputs (e.g., gasoline) not its inputs (e.g., crude oil).
quote:
I think this is why you are now seeing an increased interest in alternative energy.

I don't think so - I think a more plausible explanation is that oil companies realize that a certain percentage of the population in developed countries is willing to pay higher energy prices for so-called "green" energy. Therefore, this presents additional business opportunities, since with higher prices surely come higher margin and profit. This is just my guess; I could be wrong. If I were running an energy company, though, I'd surely be thinking along those lines.


RE: Human Cost
By Rovemelt on 9/15/2007 7:43:28 PM , Rating: 1
There's plenty of data out there to suggest oil supplies are running out faster than many would like to believe:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/2d97d75a-2e0c-11dc-821c-...

http://news.independent.co.uk/sci_tech/article2656...


RE: Human Cost
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 7:56:35 PM , Rating: 2
Yes, of course, and this should sound familiar, too, since we've been hearing the same message since the 1950's. But amazingly oil production continues to increase. Amazing how reality trumps theory, isn't it?

I'll assume that you agree with my previously-stated points since you didn't respond to them.


RE: Human Cost
By Rovemelt on 9/15/2007 8:39:23 PM , Rating: 1
Reality is amazing, tommy.

Here's world crude oil output info:

http://europe.theoildrum.com/node/2864

You'll notice world crude oil production is not increasing.

If you want to believe that no response from me means I'm in agreement with you, go ahead. However, there is also a very slight chance that I would prefer to not spend my life on DT responding to your drivel.


RE: Human Cost
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 10:20:40 PM , Rating: 2
Funny, I was about to say the same to you.

Anyway, you might find this interesting. It's a detailed economic analysis of global oil prices.

http://www.wtrg.com/prices.htm

I'll let you read it to draw your own conclusions, but I will spoil the ending a bit to tell you there's no remote mention whatsoever of any natural supply shortages.


RE: Human Cost
By greenchasch on 9/16/2007 10:24:34 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
You'll notice world crude oil production is not increasing.
You peak oil fanatics are scary. Oil production shoots up 12% in two years time. Then it dips 1%, and you all start screaming the end of the world is here.

I guess you've never heard of a cyclic market, have you?


RE: Human Cost
By Rovemelt on 9/17/2007 8:36:05 PM , Rating: 3
quote:
Then it dips 1%, and you all start screaming the end of the world is here.


No, all I posted was in response to this:

quote:
But amazingly oil production continues to increase. Amazing how reality trumps theory, isn't it?


The world oil production hasn't risen for three years, it's actually leveled out or gone down very slightly. I realize that there is still a large capacity of oil left around the planet and that it won't disappear all of a sudden. But oil production hasn't been rising for the last three years.


RE: Human Cost
By TomZ on 9/17/2007 10:18:08 PM , Rating: 1
Try not to trip over yourself while you're backpedaling...

You basically parrot the whole "peak oil" theory and then deny it when someone calls you on it, LOL.


RE: Human Cost
By Ringold on 9/15/2007 10:51:25 PM , Rating: 2
For whatever it's worth, several oil company executives have gone on camera and on the record in their quarterly reports stating that their internal forecasts, and therefore business plans, call for an ultimate return to around $35/barrel.

A sizeable amount of the current price reflects just political risk; Nigeria, Mexico's insurgency, Iran, etc. If Iran elects someone more rational next time (and the Ayatollah's don't cripple the next moderate as they did the last one), Mexico crush's it's insurgency, and Nigeria gets a grip, things would smooth out.

Beyond that, the current price reflects a global supply of 85mbpd when equilibrium quantity demanded is more like 88mbpd. Hence, I think we'll see $100/barrel before $35/barrel, but, eh, I'm not putting any money on the bet.

There have been some massive discoveries that will take several years to come online, and oil has only recently been above a critical $45 level, at which a huge array of projections previously unprofitable become profitable. Such projects, however, take time to spool up, and some (like oil shale) exact a certain environmental cost and are very vulnerable to environmentalists wrath. Others extract minimal environmental cost but become poster-childs regardless, like ANWR, and still others have a NIMBY problem, like near off-shore drilling. Give it all a few years, though, and production will rise.

An almost universal liberal problem is totally ignoring the disasterously low oil prices of the 90s. What we're experiencing now is the aftermath of cheap oil on investment spending. Funny that right as companies need free cash flow to fund tremendously expensive projects (which creates a large number of jobs) that we're also calling for "wind-fall profit" taxes... Veiled attempt at perpetuating crisis for political gain?


RE: Human Cost
By Screwballl on 9/17/2007 1:53:03 PM , Rating: 2
I suspect they meant that will be their profits...


RE: Human Cost
By Ringold on 9/15/2007 10:36:59 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
I agree with your statements somewhat, but I still feel that the issue is worth discussing and analyzing.


We agree on that. I think everything deserves a share of time and energy in the minds of educated folk. I just think, in the face of all the short-term crises that we really can impact, GW and its long-term vague problems get vast amounts of money and headline space it's not at all deserving of.

If a polar bear slipped off an iceberg and drowned, it's liable to make headlines. What about the millions dislocated and thousands dead in Indian flooding recently? Almost nothing in the news about it. What about the millions displaced and millions starving in what's the worst economic catastrophe of the new century still unraveling in Zimbabwe? Those things kill today and many have much more profound long term consequences than even global warming. Global warming has a proper slice of mindshare, but only alongside all of those widely ignored issues.

That said, I think all of the above is a cultural problem more then anything. What's more news worthy; millions suffering, or Paris Hilton? Paris Hilton!


Fight's on
By AmberClad on 9/15/2007 3:27:34 PM , Rating: 2
This whole Mick vs Masher tit-for-tat is starting to turn into the enthusiast world's version of Rosie vs Elizabeth Hasselbeck.

I don't know whether to grab some popcorn or change the channel...




RE: Fight's on
By Flunk on 9/15/2007 3:41:19 PM , Rating: 1
I think one of them (or both) needs to be fired to stop this.


RE: Fight's on
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/15/2007 3:43:34 PM , Rating: 2
Why? The point of these articles is to invoke discussion on the topic. I'd rather demonstrate two viewpoints of the same content even if its from two different authors.


RE: Fight's on
By Ringold on 9/15/2007 3:55:11 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps their articles can simply be combined, as many newspapers do when two authors debate a topic on the same page with a column seperating their articles? At least, for topics they plan on going back-and-forth?

I don't know. Publication's don't often have internal warfare take place on their headlines; it'd be like The Economist devoting a whole section every week to the Socialist point of view, or (speaking of these guys!) Newsweek having all the odd-numbered pages giving the same news as on the even numbered pages but replacing the liberal spin with conservative spin.

I'm not going to say to kick anybody out of the sandbox, but at least.. tone it down, perhaps? I don't know. Mixed feelings on it.


RE: Fight's on
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/15/2007 4:10:30 PM , Rating: 2
Understood - I'll tone it down a bit. Generally neither author knows what the other one is working on so its hard to combine them. Sometimes the cards just fall the way they do.


RE: Fight's on
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 4:14:39 PM , Rating: 4
I'm personally sick of these articles. I would propose a 30-day ban on climate change and iPhone articles.


RE: Fight's on
By JasonMick (blog) on 9/15/2007 4:30:19 PM , Rating: 3
I would agree to such a moratorium if Michael agrees.

We could discuss other environmental issues or simply take month long break from any environmental posts.

I think a lot of people find these articles interesting, but if this is the general opinion, I like writing tech/medical articles equally.

What the public desires I shall give.


RE: Fight's on
By barclay on 9/15/2007 5:14:39 PM , Rating: 2
Personally, I love these climate change articles. This is the only site I know where there is debate that is both scholarly and easily accessible.

I want to thank both you and Michael for all the effort you each put forward.


RE: Fight's on
By BBeltrami on 9/15/2007 6:50:32 PM , Rating: 3
Oh, please. Toning this down is the furthest thing from your minds! You guys know exactly what you're doing.

Masher (12-Sept): "Droughts Less Common"
Jason (2 hours later): "Droughts Increasing"
Masher (13-Sept): "Antarctic Ice at record high"
Jason (26 hours later): "Both Poles losing Ice"

Gosh, I wonder if every blog Masher posts from now forward will have a direct response from Jason?

Personally, I find Masher's perspective of challenging the establishment and questioning authority on GW to be refreshing. If I wanted more alarmist GW FUD, I could find it at many many well-funded websites, newspapers and TV, cable and radio, without even looking. Factually speaking, here in Northern Caifornia I'm SATURATED by it! That is why Masher's blog on DailyTech is a great value to me and a GW Advocate's blog isn't.


RE: Fight's on
By Rovemelt on 9/15/07, Rating: 0
RE: Fight's on
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 7:51:10 PM , Rating: 4
quote:
Michael Asher often doesn't discuss or show data that conflicts with his agenda. So, for the sake of keeping DT balanced and sane, someone else is showing those results. I applaud it. I find it refreshing. I don't want to see spin from Mick or Asher, just reasonable summaries of peer-reviewed science on the subject.

I don't think that makes sense. As the OP said, the AGW "consensus" message is getting carried quite well in the mass media. Michael's point is to show some of the research which shows there is not consensus. He's not saying there is consensus against AGW. Therefore it is logically unnecessary for someone like Jason to post contradicting posts - it is redundant - Michael is already proving there's no consensus. Jason's posts bring nothing to the table (no offense, Jason).
quote:
We all understand that it's emotionally satisfying to deny this is happening to our climate.

No, it's not emotion, it's logical. Logic tells us that we don't solve problems that might possibly exist. Pre-emptive CO2 reduction ahead of evidence of a AGW link is illogical.

On the other hand, it does appeal to one's emotions - it gives you the feeling that you're doing something useful - even if the reality is that you're not.


For masher
By oopyseohs on 9/15/2007 9:04:21 PM , Rating: 2
RE: For masher
By TomZ on 9/15/2007 10:17:54 PM , Rating: 2
It just proves the old axiom: garbage in, garbage out. If you make bad assumptions, you're going to make bad decisions. Specifically, all the stuff in the lower-right corner is complete hyperbole and is so remotely unlikely that it is irresponsible to even consider that in a rational decision making process.


RE: For masher
By oopyseohs on 9/15/2007 11:28:18 PM , Rating: 2
Remotely unlikely?

Even if its not as extreme as it seems hes making it to be, does that mean we should stand by idly and do nothing?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGpYI9LcJkA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBy8dEtiCc4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-JtKsG2fVU

I love the part where you say it's "irresponsible to even consider that in a rational decision making process."

Is it not also irresponsible to not at least create the framework for which a strong plan for crisis aversion can be built should the unthinkable, or thinkable I suppose, occur?


RE: For masher
By djcameron on 9/16/2007 12:12:51 AM , Rating: 2
First of all, he's trying to say that if we have a global depression [that is way worse than the 30s] that we won't have political, social, and health catastrophes? Who is he kidding?

Secondly, If the Costs in the upper left box lead to global depression, tehn the cost in the lower left box will lead to global depression, which will lead to political, social, and health catastrophes too. This means that the probability of catastrophe if we take action is 100%, where it's only 50% if we don't take action.


RE: For masher
By oopyseohs on 9/16/2007 12:19:16 AM , Rating: 2
Top left the economic depression could potentially be the cause of further catastrophes. Bottom right, all of these catastrophes are generated independently of each other due to the effects of climate change, and therefore are far more accelerated than the scenario in the top left.


RE: For masher
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/16/2007 1:24:37 AM , Rating: 3
quote:
Secondly, If the Costs in the upper left box lead to global depression, tehn the cost in the lower left box will lead to global depression,

That's the strongest argument I've seen against the "four box" argument. I really don't know why it wasn't addressed in the video.

Now, not that I believe this, but here's the argument my roommate and I constructed:

The guy (I'm sorry, I don't know his name) assumes the "worst" case in each box. The control group (upper right) is not a smiley face, it's just a control. The left column, whether disaster is immanent or not, results in global depression. The bottom right results in doomsday.

When he talks about lottery tickets, you lose no matter what if you pick the left column.

But nevermind *that* glaring mistake with the four box argument. If we do as the presenter suggests and start introducing variable degrees of "yes" and "no," you'll notice that you don't get gradient shades of smiley faces vs doomsdays. In fact in some cases spending money on specific environmental projects would lead to increased prosperity and a better environment, but in other regards there are cases where the opposite is just as true.

There's a few examples of good intentions gone bad already: E85 subsidies, DDT bans and (parts of) the Kyoto protocol. We could all-out spend the cash to counter climate change and end up having no effect on what the environment ends up doing anyway. I didn't see that box on the four corner argument.

I take both sides of the story with a grain of salt, but I really hate to see granular problems addressed with oversimplified explanations.


RE: For masher
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/16/2007 1:29:35 AM , Rating: 2
By the way, this branch of study is called game theory. If anyone is looking to study a branch of advanced mathematics, I highly suggest it :)


RE: For masher
By KristopherKubicki (blog) on 9/16/2007 10:22:38 PM , Rating: 2
I watched this again and discovered another possible flaw. Replace Climate Change with Vulcan Bird-of-Prey Invasion. Unfortunately the "end game" arguments end up being the same, which really makes the initial argument less powerful to me.


RE: For masher
By djcameron on 9/17/2007 12:48:53 AM , Rating: 2
Also, he is only using the assumption that Global Climate change is man-made. What if there really is Global Climate Change and it is NOT man-made? Then it doesn't matter what we do.


Stuff and nonsense
By masher2 (blog) on 9/15/2007 5:45:12 PM , Rating: 5
> [Arctic melting] will most likely lead to the extinction [of] large mammals, such as the polar bear and various arctic seals. This unfortunate loss of biodiversity may be an unprecedented ecological event..."

Stuff and nonsense. Firstly, polar bear populations are actually increasing. They don't require sea ice to survive; the majority of animals live in Alaska, Canada, Greenland, and Northern Russia. Populations are so high in Canada, the government is issuing hunting permits.

As for this being "unprecedented", the northern ice cap has disappeared countless times before. In fact, 90% of the earth's past, its been wholly without any ice caps. The cap we have now has been steadily melting for at least the past 7,000 years. So what's unprecedented about this?

The earth has seen a dozen or more events where millions-- perhaps billions of species went extinct. Even outside those major events, exctinction is a continual process. All in all, its a good thing...it opens the way for new species to fill those ecologic niches.

Trying to panic people with the "unprecendented" event of an overly-specialized arctic seal possibly risking extinction -- while a dozen other different seal populations are thriving -- is nothing but alarmist fear-mongering. Regardless of what we humans do, the northern ice cap will eventually melt entirely. Period. If a species depends on it, its going to vanish...just as other species did all the other times the actic ice melted.




RE: Stuff and nonsense
By wrekd on 9/15/2007 7:35:49 PM , Rating: 5
If you want to see unprecedented; around December 21, 2012 the Earth will cross the galactic equator and all hell will break loose.

The forces of gravity and magnetism are going to rapidly spin the Earth's crust to the point that continents won't even be in the same hemisphere anymore. Of course the probability of rapid tectonic spin comes with a margin of error of +/- 100%.


RE: Stuff and nonsense
By oopyseohs on 9/16/2007 1:31:08 AM , Rating: 2
lol


RE: Stuff and nonsense
By porkpie on 9/16/2007 10:09:17 AM , Rating: 2
I'd really like to see Mick's response to this. When the ice caps have been melting for thousands of years, what's unprecendented (or even alarming) about the trend continuing?


RE: Stuff and nonsense
By theflux on 9/16/2007 1:05:21 PM , Rating: 2
It's part of the seeming contradiction that all so-called environmentalists buy into. You'll see people such as Mick write pages and pages about how terrible it will be when species go extinct, but if they were true environmentalists, and that was the natural course of the planet, shouldn't they be happy it's happening? I think you'll find that the people who call themselves environmentalists are really more interested in shaping the environment as they see fit, which is to say that they don't want it to change because they like it the way that it is today. Does it matter that the planet is warming naturally, as we are coming out of an ice age? NO. They want to make sure they get more polar bear episodes of Planet Earth.

Now don't get me wrong here, I don't think there is anything wrong with people wanting to preserve plant and animal life. We're a big factor on this planet, and we've already changed it in many ways by settling it. I mainly have a problem with people who say they are environmentalists, implying that they want to protect the natural environment, when really they are more interested in changing natural occurrences to fit their own view of how things should be. If you are for changing the environment to keep things alive, just be up front and say it.


Another error in the article
By masher2 (blog) on 9/16/2007 11:57:24 AM , Rating: 4
> "the CIRES study indicates ... 0.4 ± 0.2 millimeters of sea-level rise per year. This would mean that over 100 years, the loss [would] lead to global sea level rising 40 cm, or rough 1.3 feet"

You're off by a factor of 10 here. 0.4 mm/year equates to only four cm/century, not 40 cm.




RE: Another error in the article
By theflux on 9/16/2007 12:47:18 PM , Rating: 3
4 cm doesn't sound nearly alarming enough. I can see why he wouldn't correct his post.


RE: Another error in the article
By acejj26 on 9/16/2007 2:52:41 PM , Rating: 3
I thought I was the only one who caught this error. I guess too many people in this debate take what they see with blind faith instead of take the time to really make an informed decision.


explain someone
By meepstone on 9/15/2007 6:31:32 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Further, the CIRES study indicates the decrease in ice mass would lead to 0.4 ± 0.2 millimeters of global sea-level rise per year.


I dont know about all this scientific stuff but...

If water expands when it freezes, wouldn't more water be displaced by the ice mass in the water than if it melted into the ocean?




RE: explain someone
By rtrski on 9/17/2007 11:14:09 AM , Rating: 2
That's assuming the ice is rigidly fixed in position somehow as water level raises "above" it. But ice floats with a portion of itself above the water surface proportional to the difference in density from the medium in which it is floating.

So floating icebergs and 'meltwater' both effectively "displace" the same volume of water below the sea surface...the difference isn't displacing water, it's displacing air.


Thank You
By CheesePoofs on 9/16/07, Rating: 0
RE: Thank You
By i4mt3hwin on 9/16/2007 11:42:55 PM , Rating: 1
Yea, you're dumb.

Anyway, maybe there is a way we can organize this a bit better. If Asher and Jason want to do a blog on specific environmental/whatever cause, you guys can start a topic together, both do research and post it on a page that somehow supports two articles. I'm not exactly a web developer, but I'm sure there is a better way then to just have two completely separate articles with the opposite title names. Maybe if the title was simply just Debate: Studies indicate changes at the poles, then just have the two blog posts beneath with 1 comments section.

I think it will make discussion a bit better to.


RE: Thank You
By porkpie on 9/16/2007 11:45:08 PM , Rating: 1
The amount of venom you people spew is really amazing. What "fud" was there? Antarctic ice is growing. Mick's paper shows a "trend" that lasted only 3 years and, even had it continued, would have raised ocean levels by less than 2 inches over the next century.

Wow. Scary stuff there.


Inconclusive
By clovell on 9/17/2007 2:17:36 PM , Rating: 1
Well, Jason, I always enjoy reading your articles as well as Michael's. I have to say though, that I don't really see 'a clear picture of melting at both poles'. I'd like to take a minute to explain why.

In the first reference, I got a little bogged down in the methodology behind the error estimation for GRACE, but I saw that the Confidence Intervals used were at 68% - which is a full standard deviation below what I'm accustomed to seeing. If I'm understanding this correctly, this means that the estimate of 'a rate of 152 ± 80 cubic kilometers of ice per year', if adjusted for two standard deviations, rather than one would read as 'a rate of 152 ± 160 cubic kilometers of ice per year', which would not be statistically significant at the alpha=0.05 level. The particular methodology used to account for error may dictate a different interval (i.e. an equivalent 95% confidence interval may not be as straightforward as I've made it out to be), but I find it a little questionable as to why the researchers chose not to meet the standard confidence interval / level of proof.

Your second reference uses the following quotes:
quote:
The melt, shown here in yellow and red, affected a combined region the size of California and amounts to the most significant Antarctic thaw seen from space in 30 years.
.
.
.
"Increases in snowmelt such as this in 2005 definitely could have an impact on larger scale melting of Antarctica's ice sheets if they were severe or sustained over time ," Steffen said.

The bold portion speaks for itself, but what's interesting is that such melting has occured previously - at a time when global temperatures, I believe, were cooler. All the same, I won't discount the report, but will follow its recommendation of 'wait and see'.

The third reference I couldn't track down precisely - the link you gave is to a press release for the 'International Meeting on Complexity Science' on the British Antarctic Survey's website.

As for the Arctic, I don't have time to go over them just now (although I do plan to go through them at some point). What I'm driving at, though, is that there are many respected scientists using a variety of innovative methods to study the issue. It's not as clear-cut as I think you make it out to be - otherwise, there'd be no cause for further study. I think taking the sources you provided and claiming the picture is clear is standing on shaky ground.

Respectfully.




"If you look at the last five years, if you look at what major innovations have occurred in computing technology, every single one of them came from AMD. Not a single innovation came from Intel." -- AMD CEO Hector Ruiz in 2007
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