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30 years of sea ice data. The red line indicates deviation from the seasonally-adjusted mean.  (Source: Arctic Research Center, University of Illinois)
Rapid Rebound Brings Ice Back to Levels from the 1980s.

An abnormally cool Arctic is seeing dramatic changes to ice levels.  In sharp contrast to the rapid melting seen last year, the amount of global sea ice has rebounded sharply and is now growing rapidly. The total amount of ice, which set a record low value last year, grew in October at the fastest pace since record-keeping began in 1979.

The actual amount of ice area varies seasonally from about 16 to 23 million square kilometers. However, the mean anomaly-- defined as the difference between the current area and the seasonally-adjusted average-- changes much slower, and generally varies by only 2-3 million square kilometers.

That anomaly had been negative, indicating ice loss, for most of the current decade and reached a historic low in 2007. The current value is again zero, indicating an amount of ice exactly equal to the global average from 1979-2000.

Bill Chapman, a researcher with the Arctic Climate Center at the University of Illinois, says the rapid increase is "no big deal". He says that, while the Arctic has certainly been colder in recent months, the long-term decrease is still ongoing. Chapman, who predicts that sea ice will soon stop growing, sees nothing in the recent data to contradict predictions of global warming.

Others aren't quite so sure. Dr. Patrick Michaels, Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Virginia, says he sees some "very odd" things occurring in recent years. Michaels, who is also a Senior Fellow with the Cato Institute, tells DailyTech that, while the behavior of the Arctic seems to agree with climate models predictions, the Southern Hemisphere can't be explained by current theory. "The models predict a warming ocean around Antarctica, so why would we see more sea ice?" Michaels adds that large areas of the Southern Pacific are showing cooling trends, an occurrence not anticipated by any current climate model.

On average, ice covers roughly 7% of the ocean surface of the planet. Sea ice is floating and therefore doesn't affect sea level like the ice anchored on bedrock in Antarctica or Greenland. However, research has indicated that the Antarctic continent -- which is on a long-term cooling trend -- has also been gaining ice in recent years.

The primary instrument for measuring sea ice today is the AMSR-E microwave radiometer, an instrument package aboard NASA's AQUA satellite. AQUA was launched in 2002, as part of NASA's Earth Observing System (EOS).

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RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By straycat74 on 11/8/2008 9:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
They all brought change, didn't they?

All of the people who voted for Obama can not tell you what he will do. He will change things. He will make the world a better place. Everyone will come together, not be so divisive. No specifics though, although we do know how the family dog situation is going.

Let me ask you something, if two people have two different ideas, how do they agree? Someone has to change their opinion. Calling a America divided because they don't all agree with your side is a bit arrogant. If the democrats all agreed with the Republicans, we would be united. So stop fighting and follow us.

Remember, the larger the government, the less the freedom. (see Obama's agenda for Americans to "volunteer")

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By foolsgambit11 on 11/10/2008 5:01:03 PM , Rating: 3
They all brought change, didn't they?
Sure, that's one definition of 'progressive' - as in, conservatives want to 'conserve' the status quo, and the liberals want to change it. Unfortunately, that would make almost everybody in history - revered or reviled - a liberal. Washington, Jefferson, Franklin, Lincoln, Martin Luther, Jesus, Buddha, Gandhi, Moses, Muhammad, Churchill, Bolivar, Abd al-Wahhab, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, Alexander, Caesar, The Earl of Sandwich (what?!? food between two pieces of bread?!?!?).... The list goes on.

The idea that American liberals are equatable with Communist dictators (who weren't even interested in Communism or Socialism, or whatever you want to call the politico-economic system of those countries) is really laughable. As is equating the American right with Totalitarian dictators.

if two people have two different ideas, how do they agree? Someone has to change their opinion.

Or both can change their opinion. It's called compromise. Or they can agree to disagree, and both go do their own thing. But I don't want the South to secede again - or the North. Or they can agree to disagree, hold it to a vote, and agree to go with the majority.

Remember, the larger the government, the less the freedom.

Or, put another way, the larger the government, the less the anarchy. Seriously. Freedom is wonderful. It's a great thing, and maximizing freedom is a noble goal. But it must be balanced against other valuable goals. To be pedantic, I don't want you to be free to murder me. But more practically, I think all except the most ardent libertarians would agree that a certain reduction in liberty is required for security - another principle that should be promoted by society. (Yes, I'm familiar with the Franklin quote, and I threw it around against the USAPATRIOT Act - I'm a hypocrite.) A certain level of taxation is required to support the necessary roles of government. A certain level of regulation is necessary to ensure a fair market which will give real opportunity to all who try hard. Certain public services are necessary to ensure America's continuing competitiveness in the world, and to prevent instability that could threaten the Union. The things we as Americans disagree on are the exact size of these government programs. We agree on far more than we disagree on, I'm sure. But we define ourselves and each other by our differences.

And partially unrelated, I'll give a few quotes from FDR, because I think this juncture in history, it's good to be reminded:
I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking

A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.

Competition has been shown to be useful up to a certain point and no further, but cooperation, which is the thing we must strive for today, begins where competition leaves off.

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.

There are many ways of going forward, but only one way of standing still.

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

There is a mysterious cycle in human events. To some generations much is given. Of other generations much is expected. This generation of Americans has a rendezvous with destiny.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By straycat74 on 11/10/2008 7:21:14 PM , Rating: 1
If you agree the government should feed you, care for your health, supply food for you, supply your shelter, what is it you do for yourself? If you say I go too far, see section 8 housing, food stamps, school breakfast, lunch, after-school care, Obama's universal pre-school initiative.

I am neither bitter nor cynical but I do wish there was less immaturity in political thinking.
A conservative is a man with two perfectly good legs who, however, has never learned how to walk forward.

Putting these quotes together speak for themselves.

RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By foolsgambit11 on 11/11/2008 4:57:43 PM , Rating: 3
You've confused principle and practice. While certain programs may or may not function correctly, that doesn't invalidate the principle that these are activities the government should be involved in. For instance, you mention school breakfast, lunch, after-school, and pre-school. You talk all around basic K-12 education, but never say we should stop giving it out for free. You don't seem to disagree with the principle that public education is a valid role for government (whether it's run effectively is another matter).

I don't think everybody should be fed, clothed, and sheltered by the government. And I never said that. Neither did any of the quotes from FDR I used. I said a certain amount of social welfare is a legitimate and necessary role of the State. What size the safety net should be is an area for debate. When done correctly, these programs encourage a certain amount of entrepreneurship and inventiveness, with people confident that they won't have to live in a cardboard box and die of rabies if their idea fails. However, when done wrong, these programs can lead to (or reinforce) lethargy and a lack of motivation.

The debate over these programs should be about how, not whether.

It's ridiculous, on this Veterans' Day, that we all cheer for those who sacrifice their time and their lives for a better country and a better world, but many are not willing to pay higher taxes or donate their time to make America a better place for all.

"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs

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