Archive for October 20th, 2011
The Neocons have a lot of problems. One of them centers on their famous denial of anthropogenic climate change: specifically, their denial that humankind’s injection of vast amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere hasn’t caused and won’t cause any climate change. Never mind that the overwhelming majority of climate scientists have uncontroverted data proving otherwise.
Still more awkward facts have come up recently. The research vessel Polarstern has returned from 16 week-long voyage across the Arctic Ocean. Early reports are available on-line the Alfred Wegener Instittue’s website.
Bad news for the climate change deniers: there’s even less sea ice left than climatologists thought. Sea ice levels are at the record 2007 levels. Or lower. And the ice that is left is thinner, single season ice, not the more durable, thicker multi-year ice that is 2-5 meters thick. Even at the North Pole, the ice measured only 90 cm – about three feet – thick. Multi-year ice only remains at a few places.
Light penetrates better through thin ice, so overall the water temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are warming still more.
Of course, it may just all be an astonishing coincidence that CO2 levels are at record highs and Arctic sea ice is at a record minimum. And it may be a coincidence that smokers develop lung cancer. It’s possible that it’s all a coincidence. Just extremely unlikely. WC would discuss the statistics involved, but the effort would be wasted on science deniers.
Some years ago, an education coordinator was explaining bird migration to a group of home schooled kids at a bird banding station in Fairbanks. “Why do some birds stay in Alaska and others migrate?” the education coordinator asked. “Because God made them that way,” one of the home schoolers answered.
Superstition has an answer to everything and explains nothing. Eclipses and earthquakes are messages from God and not the product of plate tectonics and astronomy. God wills it. The polar ice is melting? God wills it. The slightly less religion-obsessed will babble about climate cycles, ignoring the research that has conclusively eliminated climate cycles as significant factors.
We ignore nature at our peril. We depend upon these ecosystems for our survival. And as Mrs. WC says, “Nature bats last.”