September 30, 2005

Arctic Ice Declines: A few things that got left out

Filed under: Arctic, Climate Changes, Polar

As shown on the front page of the September 29 New York Times, NASA has pronounced that the September, 2005 coverage of Arctic sea ice is the lowest since their satellite record began in 1979.

We offer a more measured reaction: ho-hum. Summer (that’s when ice melts) Arctic temperatures in the late 1970s were at their lowest levels since the mid-1920’s. Since then, they have risen to slightly exceed the previous 100-year high point of the late 1930s.

Read that again. From roughly 1925 through 1940, a 15 year period, Arctic summer temperatures rose just about as much as they have from 1979 through 2005, a 25 year period. If sea-ice wasn’t near or at its end-of-summer lows this year, something would be wrong with a very basic physical theory: warm temperatures melt ice.
(more…)




September 20, 2005

Global Warming and Hurricanes: Still No Connection

Filed under: Climate History, Hurricanes

A scientific team led by Peter Webster of the Georgia Institute of Technology today published findings in Science magazine. The team claimed to have found evidence in the historical record of both more tropical cyclones, such as Hurricane Katrina, but also a higher percentage of more intense ones.

This follows on the heels of Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Kerry Emanual proclaiming in the Aug. 4 on-line edition of Nature magazine that he had found evidence that global warming in the last 30 years was producing more intense cyclones.

The conclusion many draw from papers such as these is that anthropogenic global warming from the burning of fossil fuels by humans is causing more lethal storms. A closer look, though, reveals not human actions but rather natural cycles are the primary cause.

(Read more at Tech Central Station)




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