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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 Ringold on 11/9/2008 5:05:00 AM , Rating: 3
Cato? Neocon? Cato is libertarian. Read your own beloved wiki entry on neoconservatism, and you'll find many deal-breaking issues with libertarian views.

From Cato's website:

quote:
The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato's work has increasingly come to be called "libertarianism" or "market liberalism." It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism.


Not that I fully expect a liberal to have a deep understanding of the opposite side of the track, but you got that one as wrong as you could have.

I also find it interesting that people can debate what "well-sourced" means. One university is superior to another? Some scientist has a better reputation or agrees with some viewpoint and must therefore be superior to others?

Back to attacking think-tanks, I don't know about science but on economics they often have widely respected economists -- I know Cato and Heritage both do. Ignoring their input on economic issues, for example, when they have legitimate specialists in the field would be willfully donning blinders.


RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By monoape on 11/9/08, Rating: -1
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By Ringold on 11/9/2008 3:19:26 PM , Rating: 4
I try speak about what I know, where as you flung out an ill-founded accusation about an organization that, apparently, somehow you have developed a knee-jerk reaction to. It's also not an obsession, it's being an informed citizen. I question your competence to vote if you don't understand the difference between a big-government loving "neocon" and a limited-government libertarian.

Also, while climate change may be real, "dangerous" is an open debate. Dangerous for.. certain species? Certainly. Dangerous for humanity? In that case, you've left the realm of climate science and entered economics, and the economic work done to date suggests something more along the lines of "rather annoying" than "dangerous." More so for poor countries. Perversely, the best way for them to leave poverty, asides from political stability, happens to be building cheap, easy to build coal and natural-gas fired power plants to attract heavy industry and walk up the same ladder China has.


RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By MamiyaOtaru on 11/9/2008 11:02:03 PM , Rating: 2
Great idea! If every country was like China (or the US) the oil crash would come that much faster.

Try not to dismiss me as an environut. I love our modern lifestyle. I'm just going to be sad to seee it go (or more likely, dead)


RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By monoape on 11/10/08, Rating: 0
RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By wookie1 on 11/10/2008 2:43:56 PM , Rating: 3
What is the correct temperature for the planet?


RE: Pace vs. Quantity
By mezman on 11/10/2008 4:11:02 PM , Rating: 1
Just because you say something is doesn't make it so.


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