Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Research Global Warming Issues ~ #2

I’m embarrassed by my 2-3-9 Letter to the Durango Herald Editor regarding the recently published “Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year” in the journal Nature.

I got so focused on the naysayer nonsense that I never mentioned the significance of this recent report. From the introduction of the report itself:

“Assessments of Antarctic temperature change have emphasized the contrast between strong warming of the Antarctic Peninsula and slight cooling of the Antarctic continental interior in recent decades.... Here we show that significant warming extends well beyond the Antarctic Peninsula to cover most of West Antarctica, an area of warming much larger than previously reported. West Antarctic warming exceeds 0.1 °C per decade over the past 50 years, and is strongest in winter and spring.”

Incidentally, here’s the latest (1-28-9) from the North Pole: USA’s National Snow & Ice Data Center “... sea ice extent just dipped below January 2007 levels (the previous historic low) in the last few days... ”

Oh, and what is happening in between? The University of Zurich's World Glacier Monitoring Service reports that in 2006 and 2007 that the world's glaciers lost 2 meters (over six feet!) of thickness on average. UZWGMS notes: "The new data continues the global trend in accelerated ice loss over the past few decades." The rate of ice loss is twice as fast as a decade ago.

The real remaining question is: How long are we going to allow faith based wishful thinking to overrule what we can see, measure & understand?

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