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Greenland Glaciers Melting Much Faster 460

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the bad-news-for-skiing dept.
grqb writes "NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory says that satellite observations indicate that Greenland's glaciers have been dumping ice into the Atlantic Ocean at a rate that's doubled over the past five years. Greenland Ice Sheet's annual loss has risen from 21.6 cubic miles in 1996 to 36 cubic miles in 2005 and it now contributes about 0.5 millimeters out of 3 millimeters to global sea level increases. One theory as to why this is happening is that the meltwater, caused by increasing temperatures in Greenland, serves as a lubricant for the moving ice, hastening its push to the sea. Another study has estimated that the warming rate in Greenland was 2.2 times faster than the global norm -- which is in line with U.N. climate models."
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Greenland Glaciers Melting Much Faster

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  • the 'extremists' in the middle east want to destroy our (the US and Europe's) way of life, so they sent a boatload of people to breathe really heavily on the 'burgs. Since they already live in a desert, the 'global cooling' effect that the melting of the iceburgs will cause will not affect them. BOOYA!
  • by TheBogie (941620) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:22PM (#14756051) Journal
    This sounds like Greenland's problem, not ours. We need to start litigation to force Greenland to stop this harmful dumping of ice into the ocean.
    • This sounds like Greenland's problem, not ours. We need to start litigation to force Greenland to stop this harmful dumping of ice into the ocean.

      The White House has requested your resume and interview schedule from you.
                 
    • Litigation takes too long, just attack them. Imagine the amount of ice we can get from them.

      If they don't give in, we will just blow their icy country into pieces! Without ice, how can they dump ice into the ocean?

      Would someone think of the shivering baby seals?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Muslims hate the Danes, and now they're on George W's radar...

      Step 1, Kick Denmark out of NATO.
      Step 2, Bomb their shitty country back to the stone age.
      Step 3, See if the ice is still melting on Greenland.
      Step 4, Ask the world community to join in since it's going shit creek.
      Step 5, ???
      Step 6, Drill for more oil in Alaska.
    • Perhaps if all the ice melts, Greenland will be able to justify it's name.

      "According to the sagas it was actually Eric the Red who called this country Greenland [greenland-guide.gl]. After he had lived for three years in this region he returned to Iceland, and wanted to convince his fellow countrymen of the fine opportunities for starting a new life here in this 'Green Land'."

  • NAO (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:23PM (#14756056)
    But during these past 5 years, the favored phase of the NAO has been negative, which is associated with ridging into Greenland (translating into warmer temperatures there) while Europe and the eastern United States is colder.

    I just don't think it's a good idea to make climate extrapolations from five years of data over a small part of the globe. There's plenty of other evidence of global warming without this bullshit.
    • While I do not know about Europe, The eastern US is NOT colder. At this second there is a blast of cold air, but overall, it is much warmer. If nothing else, then note the fact for the first time in recorded history, all 5 of the great lakes are with out ice at this time of year. Normally, the ice going out occurs in early april through early may.

      BTW, yes, there is more snow, but that is because more moisture in warmer air.
      • Re:NAO (Score:3, Insightful)

        by AlienGoods (928169)
        I don't know about the Eastern US, but last winter was one of the top 5 coldest in Wisconsin, while this one is one of the top 5 warmest. Shit happens.
      • Re:NAO (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Serzen (675979)
        The Eastern US is not colder THIS year. But last year saw one of the coldest January-February periods in history where I live (the Finger Lakes region of NY). The winter before that was also extremely cold, featuring, again, some of the coldest temperatures in decades.
    • Re:NAO (Score:3, Informative)

      by rlk (1089)
      Actually, early in the 5-year period the NAO was positive most of the time (in particular, the winter of 2001-2002 had an extreme positive NAO all winter, which led to the eastern US being extremely warm), which most likely corresponded with strong troughing over Greenland. The next three winters were much more dominated by a negative phase of the NAO. For Greenland that would almost certainly translate into net warming over the 5-year period (just like one could argue that it demonstrated strong cooling
  • by Forrest Kyle (955623) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:26PM (#14756079) Homepage
    Let's invade Greenland for insulting our state religion by allowing science to accurately predict events in their country.
    • Re:Invade them! (Score:3, Informative)

      ...allowing science to accurately predict events...

      I'm sorry, where were the accurate predictions? The second paragraph of the actual article says

      The evolution of the ice sheet, in the context of climate warming, is more rapid than has been predicted by models

      From what I can tell, they missed by more than a factor of two. While that's in the same order of magnitude, I don't consider it particularly accurate.

      The article goes on:

      Rignot and Kanagaratnam say their calculations indicate that the Greenlan

    • Re:Invade them! (Score:3, Insightful)

      Let's invade Greenland for insulting our state religion by allowing science to accurately predict events in their country.

      Unfortunately, the acceleration of the glaciers was not predicted.
      I guess the bushites are going to have to be content with using this "failure of science" as proof that
      1. global warming models are inaccurate, and
      2. Evolution must be wrong, too.

      • Re:Invade them! (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Knetzar (698216) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @06:17PM (#14756706)
        3. Since global warming models are inaccurate, we can polute more
      • Re:Invade them! (Score:3, Informative)

        by HiThere (15173) *
        Well, actually it was predicted by several people...and denied by others. The government sided with the deniers, so that was the "official theory". (Also, since it was still being disputed, most scientists sat on the sidelines without evidence of their own, and tried to evaluate what was offered.)

        This event was predicted sufficiently long ago for "The Day after Tomorrow!" to be on the screens last year. (It might have been lousy science, but it was based on good science.) Go to see it...then imagine the
    • Re:Invade them! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Let's invade Greenland for insulting our state religion by allowing science to accurately predict events in their country.

      That's hillarious that you said that. Can you show me any report on global warming from any scientific journal that doesn't have a standard deviation so large that you can predict anything (i.e. warming, cooling, or staying the same temperature)? Can you also show me any computer simulation that these researchers have used where they actually quote their chi squared per degree of freed
      • Come on man, be strong. You made a good point. You didn't senselessly deny global warming, nor hysterically accept it. You really should have no reason to be afraid of the Slashdot moderators for what you had to say there. Log in and let your voice be heard!

        3 mm. Consider how grassy the data must be. First you have ocean waves ranging from a few inches up to a dozen meters. Then you have tides. Then there's seasonal affects (like river flow rates). Then you have weather. If Hurricane Katrina informed the p
      • How about this [wikipedia.org]?
        • Re:Umm... (Score:3, Interesting)

          by iamlucky13 (795185)
          Yep, seen it. Now scale that to absolute temperature...or even the average background temperature of space, since that (in addition to atmospheric transmittance and global emissivity) is the prime factor affecting heat transfer away from the earth. When you do that, you'll find the graph looks pretty darn flat. My point is not that the temperature is not changing, but the graph blows it a little out of proportion. Also, you don't directly address the parent's point, because all of the points used to generat
    • This is obviously just yet another spin-doctored story from an anti-American UN... just like the claim that there were no WMDs in Iraq. We showed them, though - just look what we found when we actually went there! Oh, wait...

      (Just as a note for the more challenged among the moderators, the above was funny/sarcasm. :) If you do feel particularly cynical, you can also give it a +1 Insightful.)
  • by tempestdata (457317) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:27PM (#14756083)
    1) The fact that we need to do something now to save the world before its too late!

    To them I say.. its useless. Your puny little voices will not be heard. The only way to stop global warming were for the people of the world to collectively reduce their usage of energy and lower their standard of living. Its not happening. It simply is not going to happen.

    2) The fact that it cannot be proven that it is human's causing this global warming, and that we know very little about the climate and have been measuring it for a very very short time.

    To them I say.. Sure. Fine. But just remember that our great and global civilization wont be the first to have underestimated their effect on nature. History has shown that civilizations CAN affect the environment around them to the point that their civilization becomes unsustainable. Look up the end of the Mayan civilization. Actually even the Easter Islands belong to this category.

    Bottom line. I dont think we are hurtling toward the point of no-return.. I believe we are PAST the point of no return.. at this point we might as well just try to find ourselves another planet, or work on technologies that make sure our civilization can survive the future.
    • The only way to stop global warming were for the people of the world to collectively reduce their usage of energy and lower their standard of living.

      No scientist living claims there's a way to stop global warming, only (perhaps) to reduce it somewhat. The damage (regardless of the cause) is already done and far beyond our understanding, much less our ability to repair.

      But just remember that our great and global civilization wont be the first to have underestimated their effect on nature. History has shown
      • but global warming isn't going to make the Earth uninhabitable, or even remotely so. Also, comparing the cost and number of lives sustained by spending money on the moon, Mars, or space station habitation versus spending it on an already life-sustaining planet which may become less hospitable shows much better bang for the buck on the terran side. The concept of giving the Earth up for dead while dreaming that space is going to serve better odds is quite a stretch.
      • civilization becomes unsustainable.

        I don't know what sort of science fiction you've been reading, but global warming isn't going to make the Earth uninhabitable, or even remotely so

        Just to note, he didn't say uninhabitable, just unsustainable. i.e. a big economic/population crash.

      • No scientist living claims there's a way to stop global warming, only (perhaps) to reduce it somewhat.

        You can stop it by deploying a large structure in space that reflects some of the sun's light... or you can scrub greenhouse gasses from the atmosphere... or you can fill the atmosphere with dust like after a large volcanic eruption or a nuclear winter.

        There are solutions, but no money has been spent on developing them. This is because the policy makers either are incompetent or don't really care.

        I don't
        • According to reports I've seen, the worst "runaway" scenarios that have any modeling behind them expect a 4-5 degrees C rise in average global temperatures and some increase in the local variability (the horrific "extreme weather" some people like to toute). It can't truly run away. The earth has to obey the 1st law thermodynamics, too.

          Why aren't policy makers doing more? Well, we're actually already doing a significant amount to understand the climate. Quite a few million dollars of government grants go
      • by killjoe (766577) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:33PM (#14756479)
        'I don't know what sort of science fiction you've been reading, but global warming isn't going to make the Earth uninhabitable, or even remotely so. That sort of thing is nothing more than alarmist bullshit."

        I won't make earth uninhabitable bit it will make it more miserable. We can adapt after the population has been culled and after the resource wars have been settled. The balance of power probably won't shift too much, we will probably go ahead and kill lots of people and take over their natural resources and lets face it they can't do jack shit to stop us.

        I don't know if Americans will be happier when it's all said and done but for sure many other countries will be either gone or miserable. I suspect even Americans will have a lower standard of living because most of the foods they are used to eating now will simply be unavailable.
        • As long as we get enough Haliburton Green on Tuesdays, we won't riot too much.
        • Alarmist (Score:3, Informative)

          by umbrellasd (876984)
          The poster a few posts up did not say Earth would be uninhabitable. He just said our current lifestyle would become unsustainable. For certain, if the planet does warm significantly, you will have elevated sea levels that flood many major metropolitan areas all over the world, and that will cause some havoc in real estate and the market in general. Then there is the effect of climate change on food production. I guess one bonus is that the need for heating oil goes down, :-). This is assuming the heati
    • [i]
      To them I say.. Sure. Fine. But just remember that our great and global civilization wont be the first to have underestimated their effect on nature. History has shown that civilizations CAN affect the environment around them to the point that their civilization becomes unsustainable. Look up the end of the Mayan civilization. Actually even the Easter Islands belong to this category.
      [/i]

      The Mayan's and the Easter Islanders didn't have nuclear power.. and nuclear weapons. We're not going back to the stone
      • If you want to do something postive for the planet, don't have children, or only have one. That will have a more far-reaching impact than anything else.

        True, but the people smart enough to realize the truth in this are already doing it, leaving less educated people responsible for all the reproduction. Parents with less education tend to have less successful children. Whether or not it's dilluting the gene pool is a debatable and touchy subject. Perhaps, encouraging the previous people to adopt might

        • I think then I should most likely have sex with Samanta Carter. She just might catch something from my intellect. ;)

          On a more serious note though, Albert Einstein was once approached by a beautiful young woman, according to an anecdote. She desperately wanted to have kids with Einstein, because "imagine how perfect children we would get, my beauty and your intellect". Einstein replied: "That is true, there is a chance for that, but there is an equal chance that we'd have children with MY look and YOUR int
      • "The realistic fact is there is enough coal and nuclear energy to sustain western civilization for the next 100 years or more; there is unlimited solar power available; and there's the fusion wildcard."

        Actually this is not entirely accurate. Nuclear energy is not really portable. Solar powercells require platinum which is a quite scarce and finite resource. While there are research into eliminating both of these limitations its not expected to be dealt with anyday soon.

        The problem with coal is that its
        • "Solar powercells require platinum which is a quite scarce and finite resource. While there are research into eliminating both of these limitations its not expected to be dealt with anyday soon. "

          The principle raw materials used to manufacture Solar cells/panels are glass (Si02), Si, Al, Cu and some HC based resins. All of which are available in large quantities(Sand) and recyclable.

          There is NO Platinum or Palladium used in the manufacturing of Solar cells and/or panels.
          ...H2 based fuel c

    • History has shown that civilizations CAN affect the environment around them to the point that their civilization becomes unsustainable. Look up the end of the Mayan civilization.

      I went and did a bit of reading about this to try to get your point. The best I could come up with is that the Mayan civilization likely died down due to a drought. Can you tell me how you think the Maya caused this drought?
    • The only way to stop global warming were for the people of the world to collectively reduce their usage of energy and lower their standard of living.

      I think an important point, that needs to be made more often, is that via energy efficiency it is possible to reduce energy use without lowering the standard of living. Build a house with better insulation, more efficient heating systems etc. and you can dramatically reduce energy use without changing the standard of living. Yes there's a greater initial outlay
    • ... taking off your sandals and striking yourselfon the head until you bleed:

      http://www.physorg.com/news10978.html [physorg.com]

      Warmer than a Hot Tub: Atlantic Ocean Temperatures Much Higher - Scientists have found evidence that tropical Atlantic Ocean temperatures may have once reached 107F (42C)--about 25F (14C) higher than ocean temperatures today and warmer than a hot tub.

      Ooops.. and that was normal back then? With oceans like that how much ice do you think was floating in them?

      http://solar-center.stanford.edu/sun-on [stanford.edu]
    • > the people of the world to collectively reduce their usage of energy and lower their standard of living.

      What makes you assume that reducing energy usage inherently reduces your standard of living?

      * If your house is better insulated, you use less energy to heat or cool it. How does that lower your standard of living?
      * A 2006 model car (note that I said car, not masquerading truck) will get better mileage, comfort and performance than it's 1996 equivalent. Again, how does that lower the standard of liv
    • Not that I agree with kraut [slashdot.org], but I've got plenty of disagreements with you.

      The only way to stop global warming were for the people of the world to collectively reduce their usage of energy and lower their standard of living.

      Desperately poor people do more damage to their environment, even at the expense of their viability. Proof: Haiti.

      (this should be too obvious for me to have to say it but...) The only way to stop global warming is to reverse the flow of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. This is

  • by bloodstar (866306) <blood_star@ y a h o o . c om> on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:29PM (#14756096) Journal
    Because an influx of freshwater has been theorized by scientists to be the reason the Atlantic Conveyer has slowed down. I know, correlation does not equate to causation.

    At this point I don't care who or what is causing the meltdown. What I want are some realistic ways to mitigate the effects. Solutions, not finger pointing.

  • by imrdkl (302224) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:32PM (#14756116) Homepage Journal
    Up until just recently, pretty much everyone (even the staunchest environmentalists) thought that the Greenland sheet was quite stable. This does not bode well for the fans of that lovable dane, Bjørn Lomberg, the skeptical environmentalist. As I recall, a good bit of his "evidence" was based on the relative stability, and even mass-increase, of the Greenland sheet - which now seems pretty much debunked by this news. Where's the ice stable now, Mr. Head-in-the-sand? Perhaps Antartica yet bears out your theory? In any case, Denmark lies pretty pretty close to sealevel, as I recall.
    • No insult intended. But I hope y'all can tread water.
    • by andersa (687550) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:53PM (#14756251)

      No it doesn't. This study only measured iceloss by looking at glacier thickness and velocity around the coast line.

      Inland the ice sheet is actually gaining thickness. There is always a different side to the story. The geophysics department at Copenhagen University, where I have studied (astrophysics though) has thoroughly confirmed this.

      Reference:
      http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-11/esa -eas110405.php [eurekalert.org]

      • by imrdkl (302224) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:18PM (#14756378) Homepage Journal
        That study boldly proclaims a net loss of 2cm/yr below 1500m, and conveniently omits steep inclines, and then to ice the cake (if you'll pardon the pun) declares a positive balance. This latest study sets the melt-rate somewhat higher than the Danes and Norwegians, if I understand correctly, not to mention the effects of erosion - and finds sheets in motion that have been stable, motionless, for literally thousands of years.

        When mean temperature is raised by three degrees, ice melts. It's happeing all over the arctic, and anyone who thought that somehow Greenland would somehow avoid the trend is, literally, all wet.

  • Interesting times (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Xiroth (917768)
    It's going to be fascinating watching what happens over the next few decades, and how the governments and people of the world end up dealing with it. It could go all sorts of ways.
    • Re:Interesting times (Score:2, Informative)

      by wall0159 (881759)
      Yup. Without wanting to be alarmist, here's what could happen:

      - massive displacement, disease, starvation caused by rising sea levels
      - increased weather volitility caused by warming oceans, resulting in harsher storms (Gulf of Mexico)
      - Oil wars
      - Widespead famine
      - New diseases, and existing diseases increasing their operational area (eg malaria)
      - Increase in fundamentalism, as people try to understand why these things are happening
      - Fingerpointing ('this is YOUR fault!') and more war
      - destabilisation of trad
  • It's nature's way of trying to cool the planet. It's called global warming in the short term, but it will cool the planet in the long term. Yes, mankind caused it.
  • The immediate effects of global warming include the destruction of NYC, LA, and New Jersey... the secondary effects include Illinois getting beach front property... Ok, why again is this a bad thing? (for the morons, my tongue is firmly in my cheek, but yes, the East Coast sucks)
  • by karmavDogma (911769) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:43PM (#14756176)
    The ESA has data showing Greenland's ice mass getting bigger.
    http://www.universetoday.com/am/publish/greenland_ icesheet_growing.html?4112005 [universetoday.com]
    I don't doubt that human existence is causing some changes in the Earth's environment, but I doubt we've hit the point of no return yet. Besides, if we're ever going to colonize nearby space, we'll needs lots of water. And since this is the only planet we know of to have vast amounts of liquid water (and certainly the only one we readily have access to), perhaps it's not such a bad thing that all the Earth's ice is melting. Adaptation has worked for our species before, I'm sure it can work again.
    • These do not contradict. The ice getting bigger means more ice being shed. It also in some cases will lead to the glaciers flowing faster. IANAG (I am not a glaciologist), but a heavier ice sheet may lead to more ice melting on the bottom. Overall - too early to say. More data is needed and more work to interpret it. So the jury on the overall long term balance of the ice sheet is still out.
  • by Stalyn (662) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:44PM (#14756184) Homepage Journal
    If all of the glacier ice on Greenland melted, worldwide ocean levels would rise 20 feet. I got this number from the history channel so I don't know how accurate they are with non-Hitlter based facts. Anyway the article says the current Greenland glacier melting accounts for a 0.5 mm rise in ocean levels per year.

    1 foot = 304.8 millimeters
    304.8 * 20 * 2 = 12,192

    So we have 12,192 years until all the glacier ice melts in Greenland assuming the rate is constant. We still have some time.

     
    • from tfp ( you don't even have to read the article to get it)
      at a rate that's doubled over the past five years.

      and you respond
      assuming the rate is constant. We still have some time.

      I know you can't be expected to read the article, but not even the post? I believe this marks a new low for slashdot.

    • From the bbc article:

      "It was thought the entire Greenland ice sheet could melt in about 1,000 years, but the latest evidence suggests that could happen much sooner."

      And also: "Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise today is two to three times greater than it was in 1996." and "Over the past 20 years, the air temperature in south-east Greenland has risen by 3C."
    • by SeaFox (739806)
      If all of the glacier ice on Greenland melted, worldwide ocean levels would rise 20 feet. I got this number from the history channel so I don't know how accurate they are with non-Hitlter based facts.

      From TFA:

      "Virtually everyone agrees that the complete disappearance of the 2-mile-thick (3-kilometer-thick) Greenland Ice Sheet would cause an estimated 23-foot (7-meter) rise in global sea levels."

      So I guess the History channel was only slightly off.

      So we have 12,192 years until all the glacier ice melts in
    • To use similar, but more reasonable logic to the previous poster, if it continues to double every five years, that means the entire 6096 mm will be gone in x years where

          2 ^ (x / 5)= 6096
          (x / 5) log 2 = log 6096
          x = 5 log 6096 / log 2

      or 63 years.
  • by haeger (85819) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:51PM (#14756237)
    I found this interesting link that talks about something called Global dimming [globalissues.org]. I've read some about it and it appears as if the global warming is faster now that a lot of countries have reduced their emissions that blocks sunlight, thus making the greenhouse gases even more "effective".
    It's a scary read. Some evidence seems to support that global dimming might be the cause of famine in Africa.
    There's a lot about the subject on google. [google.com]

    .haeger

  • BBC Article (Score:4, Informative)

    by A beautiful mind (821714) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @04:53PM (#14756249)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4720536. stm [bbc.co.uk]

    Btw, it is interesting that if you go to the Science/Nature [bbc.co.uk] section on bbc, there are 8 articles dealing with energy crisis/global warming currently, and that number was higher a few days ago when I first checked.
  • Finally, Greenland will be green again! That's a lot of unoccupied ocean front real estate. Taking orders now -- PayPal accepted. Given the current rate of global warming and ice melting, expect your property to be ready in roughly 10 years, contingent on any future treaties, political climate changes (including but not limited to a Ralph Nader victory), ephiphanies among our politicans, or acts of God(s).
  • by JonBuck (112195) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:00PM (#14756282)
    Here is an article published last year:

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/111 5356v1 [sciencemag.org]

    Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland
    Ola M. Johannessen, Kirill Khvorostovsky, Martin W. Miles, Leonid P. Bobylev

    Abstract:

    A continuous data set of Greenland Ice Sheet altimeter height from ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites, 1992 to 2003, has been analyzed. An increase of 6.4 ± 0.2 centimeters per year is found in the vast interior areas above 1500 meters, in contrast to previous reports of high-elevation balance. Below 1500 meters, the elevation-change rate is -2.0 ± 0.9 cm/year, in qualitative agreement with reported thinning in the ice-sheet margins. The spatially averaged increase is 5.4 ± 0.2 cm/year, or ~60 cm over 11 years, or ~54 cm when corrected for isostatic uplift. Winter elevation changes are shown to be linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation.
    • The last line you quoted is the key -- increased snowfall is cyclical, linked to the North Atlantic Oscillation.

      The accelerated flow of the ice into the ocean, by contrast, is new and apparently related to warmer ocean and maybe meltwater from the surface of the ice flowing down through crevices and lubricating it.

      The natural forces are cyclical (aside from the fact that the sun will continue to become warmer until it becomes a red dwarf and swallows the planet, but that's later).
  • by geoff lane (93738) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:14PM (#14756357)
    A vast new source of fresh water is available.

    Fresh water is lighter than sea water.

    Hence, all that is needed is a BIG plastic pipe to move all the fresh water south to irrigate the deserts of North Africa (it's downhill all the way :-))
  • by malsdavis (542216) * on Sunday February 19, 2006 @05:52PM (#14756571)
    Wait for it, I'm sure the redneck ramblers have some obscure and insignificant point to bring to our attention which completely nullifies this research and shows global warming is not actually occuring. Thats right, it's all just an invention of the Democrats (not that they seem particularly motivated to do anything about it) and they have just bribed 99% of the worlds scientists (the rest work for Exxon).

  • by Wellerite (935166) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @06:07PM (#14756652)

    Islands like Kiribati and Tuvalu in the Pacific ocean have already been experiencing rising sea-levels [stuff.co.nz] over a period of 13 years according to a tide-gauge project run by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology.

    The rate of about 6mm (0.236 inches) per year is quite slow, but it is significant for low-lying islands like these ones.

    • http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/467007.stm [bbc.co.uk]
      Anyone know anything about this? Its supposed to be the oldest sea levl mark known, and has shown no rise. Is this bullshit?
  • by BoRegardless (721219) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @06:17PM (#14756704)
    Someone said "Nothing is constant except change." Get used to it, and learn to be a Darwinian survivor or become extinct. Is there more to say? Yup. But do not pretend that long term cycles DO NOT exist, and that those LONG TERM are so dramatically large in terms of varying solar input to the Earth's atmosphere, that they will not and can not dramatically alter Earth's climate over time. It is a fact these changes have ocurred regularly and will ocurr again.

    The Earth's circular to elliptical orbit changes, the Earth axis tilt off the Solar plane, and the Precession of the Earth's spin axis all cause changes which seem to be at the root of a 100,000 year cycle. This has been seen in the Vostok ice core samples going back 500,000 years in Antarctic ice by measuring CO2 variations on the repetetive 100,000 year cycles (or nearly so).

    Without man's influence these cycles and the "Ice Ages" ocurred regularly and repeatedly, and I propound that they will continue again, and I see nothing man is capable of doing to stop the cycles. Man might speed a cycle up by a few years or decades or slow it down, but I see no chance to "stop it".

    Believe me? No. Start with the Milankovitch cycles and other data on this page http://www.aos.wisc.edu/~aos100-2/clim/>

    No matter what the U.N. or the U.S. or all the countries of the world do, the weather will change dramatically, the sea levels will rise and fall, as will CO2 levels, and man will make little dent in this cycle.
    • Let's put it nice and simply, the changes being seen at present are different in degree to any previous change that can be measured or inferred.
      • by BoRegardless (721219) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @07:00PM (#14756927)
        The Greenland Ice Cores showed changes in climate in eons past which suggested changes in ocean level that could have been many meters change in JUST 10-20 YEARS. So the prior record does show changes "different in degree to any previous change that can be measured or inferred." as you put it. Thus I postulate that our political entities of the U.N. and individual country's governments of the world are NOT the ones to be issuing the demands on people for change. We are only a short decade or two into documenting what is going on, and still have a long way to go. It is a long stretch between seeing a "Super Nova" (like at Galileo's time) and then finally having the knowledge and experience to be able to model and know the basis for what happens with a Super Nova. We know change in ice caps are ocurring, but putting them in perspective, understanding their true nature (including how the temperature change at the surface over say a century, affects the base of the ice hundreds-thousands of feet below. Heck, we still have permafrost in some U.S. and Canadian locations a few feet underground from the last ice age. Seeing is one thing. Understanding true causation is ENTIRELY ANOTHER THING.
    • The starting point for anthropogenic warming is at temperatures already very, very near the the highest seen in over 650,000 years, based on available data.

      Yes, global climate changes. But no, it has not changed into the realms we are moving into, at least not within the time span of the evolution of our species, or of almost all species now on the planet. We are moving global climate into new regimes.

      The speed of my car changes all the time, too, But that does not mean I can put my foot to the floor whe
  • It will have no effect on people who already believe global warming is happening other than confirming what we believe.

    People who have a vested interest in the world not moving to combat global warming (like energy company lobbyists) will cite the fact that the climate has changed in the past, claim this accelerating melting is part of that natural change, and use it as an excuse to do nothing. When the effects of global warming become too sever to ignore any longer, they will feign ignorance, claim noone could have seen it coming, then demand a silver bullet-type solution from the same scientists who have been telling them what needs to be done for decades, but were ignored because the executives possess a shortsightedness bordering on myopia (that is to say, their utter inability to see beyond next quarter's profit goal).

    Am I psychic, or just really, really cynical?
  • by SirBruce (679714) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @08:19PM (#14757461) Homepage
    Bush Administration Accuses Greenland of Environmental Terrorism:

    http://www.unconfirmedsources.com/?itemid=1516&cat id=9 [unconfirmedsources.com]

    Bruce

  • by rewinn (647614) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @09:09PM (#14757773) Homepage

    Are you worried that melting glaciers may raise ocean levels, inundating coastlines and triggering massive damage?

    Fear Not! NASA scientists have discovered a glacier that is not only not melting, but actually growing! [nasa.gov]

    It is, of course, the glaciation on Mt. St. Helens. It had been blown away a few years ago, but it is now growing back!!!

    So Panic Not! All we need to do is detonate a few thousand volcanos in Greenland, Siberia and Antarctica: problem solved!

  • by slashname3 (739398) on Sunday February 19, 2006 @10:51PM (#14758319)
    In other news, suspicions that the giant magnifying glass in orbit is causing the glaciers to melt was dismissed as just being to silly.

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