Tuesday, August 05, 2008

While Stragglers Debate...

the evidence mounts:

A new seven-year study of the Arctic's shrinking sea ice - which is headed for another above-average melt this summer - concludes that the polar cap is not only losing vast swathes of surface area but also experiencing a "drastic thinning" likely to reinforce the overall retreat.

The study, headed by University of Alberta ice expert Christian Haas, found reductions of ice thickness in the central Arctic Ocean of up 50 per cent between 2001 and 2007, as well as widespread replacement of heavier, older ice near the North Pole with weaker first-year ice.

"The regime shift to younger and thinner ice could soon result in an ice-free North Pole during summer," says the study, to be published in the fall by the U.S. journal Geophysical Research Letters but obtained this week by Canwest News Service.

"Reduced ice thickness in Arctic Transpolar Drift favours rapid ice retreat" - was co-authored by a six-member team of researchers from Europe and North America and completed while Haas was with the Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research in Germany.

Travelling over several seasons aboard the German icebreaker RV Polarstern, the team's key findings were produced by aerial surveys in which electromagnetic instruments carried by helicopter measured ice thickness at scores of sample sites throughout the central polar region between Canada and Russia.

The Transpolar Drift describes the general flow of Arctic Ocean ice from eastern Siberia past the North Pole toward Greenland, a conveyor belt of ice also fed by the clockwise-flowing Beaufort Gyre north of Alaska and the Yukon.

"Clearly, the thinner ice cover favours a stronger areal retreat of the ice during summer," the researchers conclude, noting that their study "points to the possibility of further rapid reductions once that vast uniform region has thinned further below certain thresholds."

Im sure it's all just due to sun spots, cyclical variation or Al Gore will a big blowtorch. The saddest part, they actually think they're the clever ones.


knb said...

Well, I've been trying to think how exactly one responds to an ill informed, uneducated Harper adorer.

Can't do it.

Rational discussion is beyond the john-a-thon's of the world.

There is a case all right and he calls himself Johnathon.

It's far from closed.

ottlib said...

"Global warming is natural, and to think otherwise is bordering the obscene."

Then we are screwed.

The simple fact johnathon is we have had 10,000 years of steady temperate atmospheric temperatures that has created a climate conducive to the the development of the current human civilization.

That temperature is beginning to change. It is up two degrees C now from the beginning of the 20th Century and some are projecting an increase to five degrees C by the end of this century.

The last Ice Age ended because the average atmospheric temperature rose by that amount. That proves that it does not take a great change in average atmospheric temperature to have a profound impact on the earth's climate.

So, it is logical to assume that we can expect changes to our climate as a result of this temperature change. I wonder what those changes will be?

It is interesting that the most effected parts of the world will be the poles and the Equitorial region. We can expect the ice caps to melt and we can expect large swaths of the Equitorial regions of our planet to become almost uninhabitable.

Considering that there are currently close to 1.5 billion people living in that region it will be interesting to see where they will all go when the land they are living on now cannot sustain them.

Hmmm, the temperate regions of the planet would be my guess because they are going to be least effected by climate change. So johnathon, you should not worry about a socialist scheme sucking the money out of the west and being sent to poor countries. It will not be necessary as there will be a vast migration of those folks to the rich West.

knb said...

How does one grow up in this country, go to school and end up a johnathon or a tory@york? That's an important question.

I admire your patience and factual input ottlib, but these drones cannot be convinced.

Lizt. said...

Johnathon is of one mind and everyone else is stupid. He will go on and on ad nauseum and things are about as clear from Harper as they are from Johnathon....they are not old PC's these people..they are far more extreme.

Steve V said...

Sorry, I'm done with the dumb.

Who cares...

Frankly Canadian said...

Wow! I can't believe this type of illogical thinking still exist today, I thought all the "world is flat" and "smoking doesn't cause cancer" scientist were all long gone, guess not. One positive thing about this rhetoric is that the con's/torry's own it and the N.D.P. are starting to believe it, the Liberals have a much easier job educating the Canadian people who Steven Harper and his band of merry cons are. Canadians are much smarter than these torries give us credit for. We as Canadians gave this government a chance because they campaigned on honesty and the Liberals past record, well they have done nothing to change either of these things. From Rona Ambrose to John Baird, these cons have sabotaged all world efforts put forth thus far to tackle climate change all for George W Bush, and Canadians Know it! As for honesty, Canadians are beginning to see through that as well.

ottlib said...


I have compared this situation to the tobacco industry when the link between tobacco and cancer was conclusively proven.

The tobacco industry found all sorts of people willing to produce "evidence" to counter that link. Of course, they were either well paid by the tobacco industry, had their own interests in maintaining the tobacco industry or were just patsies.

I am still trying to figure out which ones of those categories our two drones fall into.

Either way, they will find they will suffer the same fate as those folks who denied the link between tobacco and cancer.

The interesting thing about johnathon is he acknowledges that Global Warming is occuring but it is just a natural state of things.

I really hope he is wrong.

I actually hope that the current rise in global temperatures is man-made. At least it can be man-unmade, with effort and resolve. However, if this really is just a natural cycle then we are only along for the ride and it is going to be a rough one.

The last great rise in temperature, the one that ended the last Ice Age, caused a mass extinction on this planet.

It is worrying to contemplate what might happen to our species when the next one happens, although as I have said before, by the time the real impacts start to be felt I will be in my dotage or in my grave, so I really do not have a personal stake in the outcome.

Steve V said...

"I am still trying to figure out which ones of those categories our two drones fall into."

I think it's a little of both. There is no question that big oil and other vested interested have funded many of these deniers. But, there are also a few independent scientists challenging, everyone of which is seized on and elevated. Nevermind the same week the sceptic is making the rounds, that 1400 American scientists write a letter to Washington demanding immediate action, warning of delay. There's just no relationship, and yet WE are supposed to argue as though the weight is even. It's crap, but these people don't want to believe it, and sadly much of its seems political, so they cling, band together and it appears stronger some how. Knock yourself out, but it looks ridiculous from here.

Frankly Canadian said...

Well "and sadly much of it SEEMS political", who are the biggest contributors to the American Republicans and who are the biggest supporters of the Conservatives. I'm sorry Steve I just don't buy your SEEMS point of view, 11.6 billion dollars per quarter buys politicians period! Americans start a massive war outlasting most all other wars, all for "big oil"and "big business" Canadians are fighting in Afghanistan to protect oil pipelines and interest, When will it stop? Don't get me wrong about the wars and the fighting, I do support are men and women at home and overseas, I'm just thinking that there could be different and better ways of dealing with corrupt governments. I still believe our current democracy has being hi-jacked by big business and we need to regain our control of the system A.S.A.P.

Tory@York said...

Heres the story again for the benefit of those who still believe in the free exchange of ideas and debate. Although i really have no doubt that it will simply be deleted again.


Frankly Canadian said...

Here's a story for you tory@york and this story is about nothing but FACTS and LAWS brought to us by our own Canadian Parliment. So take your bogus reporting and crawl back to the rock you came from and leave my Canada and my fellow Canadians alone!

All parties get in on the Act

In a democracy, politicians from various parties debate to make their vision the one that guides the country. The hope is that when the debate concludes we end up going in a direction that has at least been considered from many different angles.

Although one party’s vision may win out over others, it may be tempered or enhanced by arguments from the opposing parties. When all sides agree unanimously on something, it’s a sign that the issue is serious enough to rise above the daily politicking.

Canada’s Federal Sustainable Development Act, which became law in late June, is a bold step toward ensuring that governments live up to their environmental commitments. And it’s one that all political parties got together to support. It could revolutionize the way the government deals with national environmental issues.

The David Suzuki Foundation has long advocated for such a law, grounded in basic environmental science. The Foundation helped draft the original bill, which was based on our report "Sustainability Within a Generation", written by environmental lawyer and professor David Boyd. The bill was introduced in Parliament by retiring Liberal MP John Godfrey. (You can read our 2006 report on which the new law is based, "Toward a National Sustainable Development Strategy for Canada", at www.davidsuzuki.org/Publications/NSDS.asp.)

The law’s wording puts the environment at the forefront: "The Government of Canada accepts the basic principle that sustainable development is based on an ecologically efficient use of natural, social and economic resources and acknowledges the need to integrate environmental, economic and social factors in the making of all decisions by government."

I’m happy to finally see the government listing the environment right up there with the economy! I felt the same in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio with Agenda 21, a massive plan to get the world onto a sustainable path. Unfortunately, a recession knocked out all that goodwill. Let’s hope this time for courageous political leadership in implementing and enforcing the law.

Under the act, the government must establish a Federal Sustainable Development Strategy with "measurable" targets for protecting Canada’s environment in accordance with the precautionary principle. (The principle states that "Where there are threats of serious or irreversible damage, lack of scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.") The government must also set out its strategy for meeting the targets, identify the minister responsible for meeting each target, and allow the Environment Commissioner to review the strategy and targets in advance.

The act, which applies to the policies and programs of all departments as well as a number of federal agencies, requires the government to produce a revised strategy every three years. And it establishes an advisory council that includes the provinces, business, First Nations, environmental groups, and labour.

That’s the kind of cooperation we need if we are to solve our many environmental problems. Of course, it doesn’t let the government completely off the hook. We still need more action on global warming, including a stronger commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. And we need to ensure that the government takes the law seriously and doesn’t just pay it lip service, as it has with our signing of the Kyoto Protocol.

At least it provides for more accountability and transparency – and includes incentives. For example, some bonuses for senior department bureaucrats will be contingent on how well they meet environmental goals. And the Environment Commissioner will audit and report to Parliament annually on the government’s performance in meeting the environmental targets and the terms of its environmental strategy.

It may be some time before we see how effective the law is, but all parties have at least recognized the need to work together on such crucial issues. It’s something the United Kingdom and Sweden have been doing for years with their own sustainable development strategies. It may take a while to catch up to them, but at least we have a plan to get there.

Parliament often seems like a place for acrimonious argument and name-calling rather than a venue for rational discussion, but in getting together to draft, discuss, and support the passage of this important law, politicians from across the Canadian political spectrum have shown that there is a better way to find solutions.

Take David Suzuki's Nature Challenge and learn more at www.davidsuzuki.org.

Frankly Canadian said...

The time for debate is over, the time to correct the situation is now. If this current Conservative government continues to wilfully obstruct justice than indeed the perpetrators need to be thrown out of office and replaced by a more respectful and honourable party, like the current Liberal Party of Canada.

Tory@York said...

Sorry to burst the bubble thats formed around your head but the debate is NOT over, more and more people are realizing what a crock man-made global warming is and the science behind global warming is falling apart. the more people like you try to censor debate, the more people will fight back and eventually your going to realize your the one fighting the losing battle.

Frankly Canadian said...

It's LAW, what about that don't you get, Wow you really can't debate with you Crap people or whatever they call you no-minded conservative supporters. Oh well at least I don't have to argue with you when I have the law on my side and here in Canada, where the crime rate has been steadily falling for the past decade or so, we take our justice seriously!

Steve V said...

"the debate is NOT over, more and more people are realizing what a crock man-made global warming is and the science behind global warming is falling apart. "

Actually it is, but people like you are too biased or thick to understand that. Just because you can run around the internet and find other crackpots, all snuggling together under your denier comfort blanket, doesn't mean it shows any relationship to mainstream opinion. You ignore what you don't like, and cling on to anything that supports your delusions. It's sort of pathetic really.

JimmE said...

Oh climate change deniers, is there nothing you can't deny? I know your canard is to delay & there by water down action on climate change but enough already! (BTW what is the colour of the sky in your cave?) But, as much as it pains me to say this, this YORK person may hold a modicum of the truth. Recently I spent a very pleasant evening with friends from Scotland. Their fear is not that Scottish wine(!!!) won't win any prizes but rather warming we see now will result in a slowing or a shut-down of the Gulf Stream (North Atlantic Conveyor). This will mean the olive trees now growing in Britain will be covered in heaps of snow- in a not too distant October. I'm sure most have seen this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zORv8wwiadQ
But it is worth watching again.

Steve V said...


You give too much credit, because a cooling in parts of Europe is predicted with global warming. This character actually thinks we are losing the battle, global warming soon to be debunked, so he can't possibly agree that the ocean currents will be so affected to cut off warm water from Great Britain. No, these people will point to the cooling as evidence of a hoax, never once realizing that it's actually part of the process.

knb said...

Oddly, the more adamant they get the less credible they become.

They really think the tables are turning and their missive is being felt around the world.

It's kind of like how they believe what Rush Limbaugh screams about is given fact.

It's sad really.

The tactic is so blatantly obvious and deserves no attention at all.

That said, Jimme, I've lifted the youtube and will use it for reaction for a current discussion.

Yes it's old, but I'd love to see the reaction of 2 individuals in particular.

Thanks for the reminder.