Saturday, December 09, 2006

Ross Ice Shelf and Climate Change Throughout the Past

UPDATE: The UN is downplaying the level they believe man has impacted the climate.

The Ross Ice Shelf, the largest ice piece of ice in the world which just so happens to be the size of France, has shrunk and enlarged throughout time according to a new study.

Click to enlarge. Look at the last 850,000 years! From National Geographic Magazine: November, 1976

The wanning and waxing of the Ice Shelf is just another piece of history of the world's climate. It also is another piece of evidence to Catholicgauze's Law of Geo: The world is a dynamic place and things naturally change, sometimes radically. Just look at National Geographic's chart above. People must aspect "average climate" and "average temperature" do not only have spatial aspects but also temporal.

For those who want a fairly quick read on climate change the U.S. Senate just released the reader-friendly report entitled "Skeptic's Guide to Debunking Global Warming" for free. The title is a bit of a misnomer. The report does acknowledge climate change and hits historic aspects well (Greenland was called "green land" for a reason).

I think Harm de Blij said it best. The event is probably mostly natural but it humans still must make plans to work with it.


Tony Cassidy said...

Thanks some useful thoughts for our upcoming study of the topic.

Anonymous said...

About "Skeptic's Guide to Debunking Global Warming"

Exxon spends millions to cast doubt on warming

Senator Inhofe—who received nearly $290,000 from oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, for his 2002 reelection campaign

It's not surprising: his top campaign contributor is the oil and gas industry, which lavishes more money on him than all but one other U.S. Senator

This makes the Skeptic's Guide completely useless


Anonymous said...

Poppycock. Don't try to debunk a 26 year old article with 'proof' of 4 years ago.

No one can control the way Mother Nature runs her planet.

Anonymous said...

Quote: "The event is probably mostly natural but it humans still must make plans to work with it."

Look again at the National Geographic map. The very existance of cooling "blips" for major volcanic events should lead us to strongly consider that human carbon emissions can also have detectable impacts on Earth's climate. How can 5.5 ± 0.5 GtC (thousand million metric tons of carbon) per year from fossil fuel combustion and 1.6 ± 0.6 GtC per year from land-use change not register at all? (The underlying theory behind greenhouse gases is solid in terms of the radiative properties of the compounds involved.) Scientists don't have the luxury of pointing to "blips" of warming and saying that they represent a singular event in human history...the nature of our impact is must more complex and has been a gradual snowballing throughout the past several thousand years. To say that climate change doesn't exist or that it must be all natural, grossly underrepresents the human impact upon our planet.

If you can get access, I would recommend that you read "ATMOSPHERIC SCIENCE: Land Use and Climate Change" by Pielke from This short 2-page perspective gives information on an almost completely ignored aspect of climate...the role of land use. With fully 1/3 to 1/2 of the planet's land surface transformed by human development (cropland, urban centers, rural development, etc.) there is no doubt that these changes have altered energy and water vapor fluxes and impacted climate. The example map in the article that shows large-scale land cover shifts for the whole of the Florida peninsula is a vivid example of these alterations. It also underscores the ever more popular idea that climate change occurs most importantly on a regional scale and that global averages are of very little real significance.

The media is certainly not all truth, and they often use inappropriate scare language and “bad facts”, but that Senate report is a very sad reflection upon a portion of our government.