WunderBlog Archive » Category 6™

Category 6 has moved! See the latest from Dr. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson here.

Greenland's greenhouse

By: Dr. Jeff Masters, 8:23 PM GMT on February 22, 2006

Glaciers in southern Greenland are flowing 30% to 210% faster then they were ten years ago, and the overall amount of ice dumped into the sea from Greenland increased from 90 cubic km in 1996 to 224 cubic km in 2005, up 250%. As a result, Greenland's contribution to average annual sea rise increased from .23 mm/year in 1996 to .57 mm/year in 2005, and now accounts for between 20% and 38% of the observed yearly global sea level rise. Two-thirds of Greenland's contribution (.38 mm/yr) was due to glacier dynamics (chunks of ice breaking off and melting), and one-third (.19 mm/yr) from melting. These were the results of a paper called "Changes in the Velocity Structure of the Greenland Ice Sheet" published last Friday in Science magazine. NASA scientist Eric Rignot and University of Kansas researcher Pannir Kanagaratnam used ten years of satellite radar interferometry data to arrive at their conclusions.

The authors attributed the speedier glacier flow in southeast Greenland to climate warming, and noted that there had been a 3° C rise in temperature in the past 20 years at one station there. Widespread glacier acceleration affected just the southern tip of Greenland south of 66° north between 1996 and 2000, then spread rapidly northwards to 70° north by 2005 to cover the southern half of Greenland. The authors anticipated that as glacier acceleration continued to spread northward, Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise would continue to increase in coming years.

Greenland's increase in glacier speed and a corresponding rise in global sea level are reason for great concern, since Greenland holds enough ice to raise global sea level by over 20 feet (6.5 meters), should the ice cap disintegrate. However, the paper does not discuss many complicating factors, and it is uncertain if the paper's findings mean that Greenland's ice cap is in immediate danger. The most worrying aspect of the paper's findings is that we are told that the computer models used to estimate how long it will take Greenland's ice will melt are significantly in error--and in the wrong direction!


Figure 1. Change in sea level from 1993 to the end of 2004 shows a steady increase of about 3 mm/year. No acceleration of sea level rise due to increased input from Greenland or other causes is apparent. Image credit: University of Colorado.

Is the new Greenland melting evident in global sea level trends?
Sea level is a surprisingly difficult thing to measure. Tide gauges are very noisy, and only show sea level trend for the coastal areas they happen to be installed on. Global sea level trends from these gauges show a rise of between 1.5 and 2.1 mm/yr for the period 1950-2000. Satellite data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON and JASON satellites can give a better global picture, and show a rise of 2.9 mm/yr for the period 1993-2004 (Figure 1). This had increased to 3.4 mm/year for the period 1993-2007. The reason for the disagreement between the tide gauges and satellite data is unknown. There is a lot of variability in the data, due to changes in evaporation and precipitation related to such events as El Niño and La Niña. Indeed, sea level is not rising everywhere. In Scandinavia, the land is still rebounding from the Ice Age, and local sea level is receding. Sea level is also not increasing in the South Pacific's Vanuatu Islands, which Michael Crichton focuses on in his State of Fear book. This lack of sea level rise is not well understood, but may in part due to regional ocean current and precipitation patterns that reduce the amount of sea level rise one might expect. Mitrovica et.al. (2001) argue that as an ice sheet melts, the gravitational pull of the ice sheet on the surrounding ocean decreases, so that a substantial melting of the Greenland ice sheet would result in substantial drop in sea level over the North Atlantic, and a major sea level rise over the South Pacific with the maximum rise near the southern part of South America.

Given how noisy the global sea level data is, it should be no surprise that an increasing trend in sea level due to the increased contribution from Greenland is not apparent in Figure 1. According to Rignot and Kanagaratnam, Greenland's contribution to global sea level rise increased from .23 mm/year in 1996 to .57 mm/year in 2005, an increase of .34 mm/year. This is less than the error bounds of .4 mm/yr in the Figure 1 satellite data. It is also worth noting that while Rignot and Kanagaratnam's estimates to contributions to sea level rise due to glacier flow (.38 mm/yr) are not disputed by other studies, their estimate of the amount of melting Greenland is undergoing (.19 mm/yr) is in dispute. For example, Box et al. (2004) came up with a global sea level rise of 1.5 mm/yr due to Greenland's contributions, and Chylek et. al. (2004) say that the ice sheet may not be adding to sea level rise at all.



Figure 2. Average temperatures for the two stations in Greenland with a century-long record. Top: Godthab. Bottom: Angmagssalik. Image credit: NASA Goddard.

Is Greenland's Ice Cap in danger of disintegrating?
Greenland's ice cap is probably not in immediate danger of disintegrating, if temperatures stay at their current levels. Most of Greenland has been in a cooling trend over much of the last 60 years. It is only during the past ten years that we have seen a sharp upward jump in the temperatures at many (but not all) Greenland locations. However, temperatures as warm as Greenland is seeing now were also observed back in the Medieval Warm Period of 800-1300 A.D., and again in the 1930s. We can see the warm period of the 1930's reflected in the temperature records for two Greenland stations with records extending back over a century (Figure 2). Presumably, Greenland's glaciers at that time accelerated to speeds similar to what we are seeing today, without the ice cap suffering significant disintegration. I haven't looked for records of glacier flow and iceberg calving for that time period to check this hypothesis; I doubt reliable records exist.

Natural Variability
The temperature plot of Figure 2 demonstrates that Greenland is subject to large decades-long changes in its climate due to natural variation. The 2-4° C increase in temperature during the 1920s must have been primarily due to natural causes, since human-emitted greenhouse gases were relatively low then. Research results show that the climate of Greenland is dominated by a regional weather pattern called the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). The NAO oscillates unpredictably between a negative phase and a positive phase. If the wintertime NAO is negative, the persistent low-pressure area near Iceland called the Icelandic Low moves towards the southern tip of Greenland, bringing a sharp increase in precipitation and warmer temperatures to the island. During the positive phase of the NAO, the Icelandic Low moves back towards Iceland, allowing colder and drier conditions to prevail over Greenland. The wintertime NAO during 1950-2000 was primarily positive, which led to cooling over virtually all of Greenland--the opposite of the global warming trend of most of the rest of the world (Chylek et al., 2004). This cooling reduced the amount of glacier break-up and melting one would have expected due to global warming. To make things more complicated, increased precipitation during the wintertime negative NAO phase tends to add mass to the ice sheet in the interior, and may partially or totally offset the mass loss due to melting from that phase's increased temperatures (Johannessen, 2005). This is a very complicated system with many unknowns! The question--which was not discussed in Rignot and Kanagaratnam's paper--is, how will the expected rise in global temperatures of 1.5 to 4.5° C this century affect the NAO, and thus Greenland's temperature and precipitation? The current consensus from the computer models is that global warming should act to create a more positive NAO, which would keep Greenland cooler and drier.

When will Greenland's Ice Cap be gone?
The consensus view (Gregory et. al, 2004), using computer models that treat the Greenland ice sheet as a static hunk of ice, has been that the Greenland ice sheet will melt in about a thousand years, if atmospheric CO2 doubles. However, the doubling in glacier flow observed in the past ten years comes as a major shock. The models used to come up with the 1000 year estimate do not account for changes in glacier speed at all! The unexpected increase in glacier flow probably occurred in response to the lubrication effect of melt-water penetrating down to the glacial bed, as well as other poorly-understood processes. The paper concluded: "Current models used to project the contribution to sea level from the Greenland Ice Sheet in a changing climate do not include such physical processes and hence do not account for the effect of glacier dynamics." In other words, the models were wrong. Climate change skeptics are find of criticizing computer models, and cite their inadequacy as grounds for dismissing the threat of climate change. Well, it works both ways. Climate change models can be off in the wrong direction--as we also saw with the Antarctic ozone hole, which was completely missed by the models. These new results imply that if Greenland warms significantly (at least 3° degrees C), Greenland's ice could melt in a few centuries, not 1000 years. With 20 feet of sea level rise locked up in its ice, sea level rises well beyond the capability of humans to handle could occur later this century. The real test of the stability of the Greenland Ice Sheet will come when we reach temperatures not seen since before the last ice age, 125,000 years ago. Warm temperatures then caused the Greenland Ice Sheet to mostly disintegrate, leading to perhaps 14-17 feet (4.5-5 meters) of sea level rise (Cuffey and Marshall, 2000). The likelihood of this scenario is highly uncertain, though, given our lack of understanding of the system, the high amount of natural variability, and the limited amount of historical data we have to look at.

One interesting political note
Rignot works for NASA, which has recently been embroiled in controversy over whether political appointees there had tried to silence NASA climate scientist Jim Hansen from voicing his opinions. According to Time Magazine, when Rignot was asked if anyone at NASA had tried to shut him up, he said he had not been subjected to any such pressure.

The University of Colorado has a nice image showing where Greenland melted in 2005, and which areas melted for the first time.

Jeff Masters

References
Box, J.E., D.H. Bromwich, and L-S Bai, 2004. Greenland ice sheet surface mass balance 1991-2000: Application of Polar MM5 mesoscale model and in situ data. J. Geophys. Res., 109, D16105, doi:10.1029/2003JD004451.

Chylek, P, J.E. Box, and G. Lesins, "Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet", Climatic Change 63:, 201-204, 2004.

Gregory, J.M., Huybrechtsm, P., and Sarah C. B. Raper, "Threatened loss of the Greenland ice-sheet", Nature 428, 616 (8 April 2004) | doi:10.1038/428616.

Johannessen, O.M., et. al, "Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland", Science, 310: 1013-1016, 11 November 2005; published online 20 October 2005 [DOI: 10.1126/science.1115356]

Cuffey, K.M., and S.J. Marshall, "Substantial contribution to sea-level rise during the last interglacial from the Greenland ice sheet," Nature, 404, 591-594 (2000).

Mitrovica, J.X., Tamislea, M.E., Davis, J.L., and G.A. Milne, "Recent Mass Balance of Polar Ice Sheets Inferred from Patterns of Global Seas-Level Change", Nature 409, 1026-1029, 2001.

Climate Change Glaciers

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

Reader Comments

First?

Quote: "However, the doubling in glacier flow observed in the past ten years comes as a major shock. The models used to come up with the 1000 year estimate do not account for changes in glacier speed at all!"

This is one of the reasons why climate models are not always accurate - missing data. If glaicer melting does increase as now predicted, the effect will be bad for coastal cities.
Interesting post, and potentially quite alarming!
I posted this on the previous blog:

BTW, for anybody who is interested, Cyclone Kate has formed near Queensland, Australia and has winds of 45 kt and pressure of 991 mb.

Link

There is now a storm that we can track.
hmm I saw this read it in the time magazine today very interesting

cyclone could your tunnels stop this from happening lol
Quit alarming when you live on an Island that is only 60 ft above sea level, ( At its highest point )
6. F5
Here are some interesting links regarding Greenland and sea levels...

Snowfall-Driven Growth in East Antarctic Ice Sheet Mitigates Recent Sea-Level Rise - "Satellite radar altimetry measurements indicate that the East Antarctic ice-sheet interior north of 81.6S increased in mass by 45 7 billion metric tons per year from 1992 to 2003. Comparisons with contemporaneous meteorological model snowfall estimates suggest that the gain in mass was associated with increased precipitation. A gain of this magnitude is enough to slow sea-level rise by 0.12 0.02 millimeters per year." (Science)


Recent ice sheet growthRecent ice sheet growth in the interior of Greenland - Greenland's ice cap has thickened slightly in recent years despite wide predictions of a thaw triggered by global warming. Johannessen, Ola M., Khvorostovsky, K., Miles, M. W., Bobylev, L. P. (2005) Recent ice sheet growth in the interior of Greenland. Science 310: 1013-1016

ERS altimeter survey shows growth of Greenland Ice Sheet interior - Researchers have utilised more than a decade's worth of data from radar altimeters on ESA's ERS satellites to produce the most detailed picture yet of thickness changes in the Greenland Ice Sheet. (European Space Agency)

Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet - Abstract: The Greenland coastal temperatures have followed the early 20th century global warming trend. Since 1940, however, the Greenland coastal stations data have undergone predominantly a cooling trend. At the summit of the Greenland ice sheet the summer average temperature has decreased at the rate of 2.2 C per decade since the beginning of the measurements in 1987. This suggests that the Greenland ice sheet and coastal regions are not following the current global warming trend. A considerable and rapid warming over all of coastal Greenland occurred in the 1920s when the average annual surface air temperature rose between 2 and 4 C in less than ten years (at some stations the increase in winter temperature was as high as 6 C). This rapid warming, at a time when the change in anthropogenic production of greenhouse gases was well below the current level, suggests a high natural variability in the regional climate. High anticorrelations (r = -0.84 to -0.93) between the NAO (North Atlantic Oscillation) index and Greenland temperature time series suggest a physical connection between these processes. Therefore, the future changes in the NAO and Northern Annular Mode may be of critical consequence to the future temperature forcing of the Greenland ice sheet melt rates. (Chylek P.; Box J.E.; Lesins G., Climatic Change, Volume 63, Numbers 1-2, March 2004, pp. 201-221(21))
Does anyone know how ocean temperatures in the Atlantic and the Gulf compare with this time last year? As a coastal dweller I'm nervous about the upcoming hurricane season.
Excellent and informative post, Dr. Masters. I truly appreciate the thought-provoking posts we get dished up to us every day to chew over and think about.

I'm very interested by the 3 mm/year rise in sea levels of the last 10 years (up from a longer-term average of 1.5 to 2 mm/year). If the ongoing rise stays at that level then it can maybe be coped with.
Well my first though when I heard about the southern Greenland glaciers dumping so much more water (freshwater) into the North Alantic, was how much of that is headed in the direction of the gulf stream? There has been much in the news as of late about the decrease in flows of the Gulf Stream due to freshwater intrusions from Greenland and off of the European/NW Asia rivers.
A question for Dr Masters: Glacial flow, at least in individual glaciers, is often not constant, but rather can occur in pulses or surges (for reasons not always clearly understood). The Muldrow Glacier on the north side of Mt. McKinley underwent just such a surge in the late 1950s. How do we tease such effects as this apart from the effects of warming (or is the warming connection just conjecture at this point?)
Dr.Masters - I really enjoyed today's post. It points up how complex the Earth's climate is, with all the interactions between the atmosphere, glaciers and the oceans. A question I've had is if we have a warming of 2-4 degrees C in the next 100 years, would increased snowfall over Antarctica offset more melting of the Greenland ice cap and minimize the rise in sea level? At the same time, we still need to take reasonable steps to reduce GHG emissions since we're not sure how much we are affecting the climate.

I notice that Greenland cooled for a long while and has just warmed up again in the past few years. Meanwhile, there seems to be a much stronger warming trend in the western Canadian Arctic and Alaska. I love to crunch numbers and want to check out the data for different parts of the Arctic. This is what makes weather and climate so fascinating to me. With so much natural variability in the climate around the Arctic and so little data, the challenge is to figure out how much human activity is affecting the climate.

(Units are in cm/yr)
Question: If the increase in melting from Greenland's glaciers doesn't appear to be showing up in an accelerated rate of sea level rise, could this be accounted for by additional water retained in the atmosphere due to rising global temperatures and the resulting increase in the atmosphere's capacity to hold water? Amateur quesiton--I have no idea if the volume of water in the atmosphere is even on the same order of magnitude as that melting from Greenland's glaciers...
DenverMark asked:

A question I've had is if we have a warming of 2-4 degrees C in the next 100 years, would increased snowfall over Antarctica offset more melting of the Greenland ice cap and minimize the rise in sea level?

Under greenhouse effect simulations, Antarctica is expected to gain ice mass due to increased precipitation, which could offset sea level rise by 1 mm/year or so. This is a significant effect, unless, of course, Greenland's Ice Sheet starts disintigrating and adding several cm per year to sea level rise.

Jeff Masters
If/when the Greenland icecap melts it may feed back in two ways. First, for every 100 yards the icecap falls. the surface temperature will rise by 1 degree F. Also, a lot of the precipitation in Greenland is orographically enhanced--the top of the ice sheet is 7,000 to 9,000 feet above sea level, which is enough to greatly increase precipitation. So, the more the Greenland ice sheet melts, the warmer and drier it gets, which is not healthy for glaciers and other frozen things.
Dr Masters--if the ice sheet melts by thousands of feet how much would preciptation decrease as orographic enhancement fades?
17. Inyo
the glaciers in the Sierras are advancing too, removing approximately .00000000000000001 mm of water from the ocean :)

This is pretty amazing stuff, in any event.
More intense hurricanes ; bigger snowstorms?? some say it's global warming.......the truth is we don't really know what it was like 10; 20; 30 thousand years ago or a million years ago.. maybe we had Cat 10 Hurricanes or Cat 10 Blizzards .. we know the Earth has cycles so it is quite possible we've had this types of changes before ...we only have true weather records back a few hundred years or less......
Well a few hundred years is a fraction of a second as far as the Earth is concerned....
*
Just a few thoughts...thnx Mike
well i do have some imput for this global warming thing i had someone tell me today that the earth has a pattern some years it closer to the sun some years it farther away is this true?

if it is this might be whats causing this meldown and more hurricanes i mean if the earth is even a foot closer to the sun it gets hotter dont you think we are in a pattern closer to the sun?

but i do believe that humans have some effect on it as well but who knows this has happened in the past maby in the next couple years it will cool down again.
i totally agree mike this might just be a cycle of the earth if this orbit closer to the sun thing is true in another second (earths time) it will be another ice age
and a few hundred years ago we didn't have autos and factories among other things pumping pollution into the air.....so I don't believe we are the problem....
Trees come and go....we didn't always have trees in the Eastern US most trees were cut down back in the early settlers days and used for everything from firewood to building ....so O2 levels go up and down....there are so many other reasons ....just can't type that many....

Here's a slightly different angle: what's so bad about global warming? If the sea levels rise by 200 feet, so what? Have we considered the possibility that it may be a good thing?

By the way, for those who are playing, there's a chance to score big forecasting points on Fantasy Hurricanes Adrian and Bob
ForecasterColby i like to say i am vary sorry i did not no that was you i hop youare not mad at me
Posted by: JeffMasters, 3:11 PM EST on February 22, 2006

...Greenland's contribution to average annual sea rise increased from .23 mm/year in 1996 to .57 mm/year in 2005...

...Greenland holds enough ice to raise global sea level by over 20 feet (6.5 meters), should the ice cap disintegrate.


Ok - at the new, much faster rate of apx. 1/2 of one millimeter per year, it would be 13,000 years to create a 6.5 meter sea level rise.

That's by Jeff's own numbers. So what's the big deal?

Even if it starts melting a LOT faster, we're still talking thousands of years - such a gradual rise that it won't even be noticeable on a decade to decade time frame.

THIRTEEN THOUSAND YEARS!

Geez. Guess we should all go out and buy life jackets before the stores run out of them...
26. Inyo
I think a major sea level rise would be very bad for most people since a ton of agricultural land is on lowlands and delta type areas. This includes California's central valley, and huge areas of Bangladesh, etc. However, I also think that the sea level rise in the next few hundred years will be minor (and i hope i am not wrong!)
It is possible some will beneifit from climate change in general, but as a rule we are pretty set up for how things are now and if arable areas shift, people can't necessarily shift with them.. they may be poor, or the shifts may occur across country lines. I would say climate change, either antropomorphic and natural, causes more negative than positive effects as a whole.

I haven't seen any real evidence for the earth being in a period of higher solar output. the distance from the sun fluxuates, the output of the sun fluxuates slightly, and the tilt of the earth's axis changes over time. Yes, these things certainly happen and affect the climate, but i havent seen more than a couple claims that this was the reason for the warming, or any real data on increasing solar input. If anyone has this data, by all means post it! In fact, i don't think anyone is really sure about what causes the fluxuations between ice ages, including the natural warming trend we have been in the last few thousand years.. the allignment of continents and mountain ranges, solar output, volcanoes, and naturally fluxuating CO2 levels all seem to play a part. Obviously, any human caused effects are quite recent.

California wrote:
Ok - at the new, much faster rate of apx. 1/2 of one millimeter per year, it would be 13,000 years to create a 6.5 meter sea level rise.

That's by Jeff's own numbers. So what's the big deal?


Unfortunately, the atmosphere does not behave in a linear fashion. If Greenland's temperatures continue to warm, melting is expected to accelerate and contribute to sea level rise by several millimeters per, due to feedback effects. One feedback, for instance, is that melting snow is darker, which absorbs more sunlight, which melts more snow, etc.

Jeff Masters
It would be a very shallow exponential curve, but we're still talking centuries or milennia.
ForecasterColby i like to say i am vary sorry i did not no that was you i hop youare not mad at me
I'm not, or I'd have said something :)
StSimonsIslandGAGuy wrote:

Dr Masters--if the ice sheet melts by thousands of feet how much would preciptation decrease as orographic enhancement fades?


Interesting thought! I don't know very well, but I imagine you'd lose at least 10% of your precipitaion for each 1000 feet of elevation you lose.

Jeff Masters
One disturbing possibility concerning the rate of sea level rise is that the rate of melting increases exponentially: in the past 10 years, the rate increased by a factor of about 2.5 (.57 / .23); if the rate of rise increased by this much every decade, then in 10 years the rate of rise would be 1.4 mm/yr, 20 years, 3.5, 50 years, 53, etc... (by 100 years it would be nearly 5,000 mm/yr, which is unrealistic, so the actual rare would be slower).
JeffMasters nic too see you on the blog maill for you
34. Inyo
i imagine if the sea level rose significantly (1 meter or more) it would actively serve to break up the glaciers near the ocean and increase the rate of melting. this is very far in the future. i wonder how much of a raise it would take to stress the coastal ice sheets
Michael, if you're a numbers person, the curve would be logistic. If you've got a graphing utility:

y=(1/(a+be^(-cx)))

a,b,c are constants, e is the base of natural logs.
There is another wrinkle to this. When big ice sheets with a lot of water around them are subject to warming, the precipitation rates go up due to the greater moisture capacity of warmer air and to the greater tendency of warmer oceans to give up moisture. Those parts of the ice sheet not yet seeing significant losses due to melting (the interior) will actually thicken, so at first the net effect will be for the ice sheet to draw itself inward and upward. During this phase, there may not be much net ice loss, as the greater outflow at the edges is mostly balanced by greater snow deposition farther inland.
You might not see much of a sea-level signature during this stage. Later, as warming continues, the inland portions will start to experience thinning as well, and then it will be a different story. I am no expert, but my gut hunch is that Greenland's ice sheet is still in the first stage of the process.
Dr. Masters--thanks for your response! :-) *does happy dance*
Posted By: JeffMasters (Admin) at 2:21 AM GMT on February 23, 2006.

If Greenland's temperatures continue to warm, melting is expected to accelerate and contribute to sea level rise by several millimeters per, due to feedback effects.


Thanks for posting - I wasn't expecting a personal response.

I agree about the feedback effects. In fact, one MAJOR one that I usually don't hear mentioned, is that the ice on the planet is a HEAT BUFFER, ie. as the planet heats, the heat energy is going into MELTING THE ICE rather than raising the temperature.

So whenever ice is melting, there is more GLOBAL HEATING occurring than the rate of GLOBAL WARMING would indicate.

As the ice melts down to nothing, the GLOBAL WARMING rate will increase even though the amount of heating remains constant. (this assumes heating exists, because otherwise ice would not be melting)

That being said, if you have a link to an online source where there is a projection of the anticipated melt rates of Greenland ice, I would like to take a look before responding further.

In general, I am not convinced that we will experience sea level increases that will produce catastrophic results. Not that we won't have to do some planning and relocation, but that we are easily capable of handling that over the time periods invloved.

If melt rates begin to increase, it will show up in sea levels, and communities in coastal areas will be able to make projections and make changes years in advance.

41. F5
Snowfire, please refer to the link I posted about the 5th comment in this blog. The Greenland ice sheet is thickening in the interior. This may or may not preclude an eventual thinning of the interior. As you can tell from Dr. Master's post, the NAO seems to play a significant role in the temperate over Greenland, and doesn't seem to correspond to "global" warming.
42. F5
California,

If the hurricanes of the past 20 - 30 years don't scare people off living on the coast, I'm not sure potential flooding from rising sea levels will either. Each state that has coastal area needs to develop a comprehensive land-use plan for those areas.

You know, insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. We continue to build and build in harm's way, and then gaze in awe and wonderment at the destruction nature hath wrought. Then we open our hearts, homes, and wallets to those displaced by storms who never should have been allowed to build there in the first place, or at least required much stricter building codes than what are in place. And when the disaster is over, we help rebuild what was lost, only so at some future date, it can be destroyed again and again. I realize that the chance of a direct hit by a major hurricane is minimal, but that does little to help those who were hit by one, or those who will be in the future. We need to stop building in coastal areas, flood-prone areas, etc. Stop the insanity.
Regardless of the rising interior ice sheet of Greenland the total mass is going down according to 2 satillites in the GRACE NASA prodject that has been gathering data since mid 1999.
Credit NASA~


He's a link to an article about the overall reduction in the ice mass of Greenland. It also highlights other finds by GRACE, including measurements of seasonal changes in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, Earth's strongest ocean current system and a very significant force in global climate change. This could be a big help in unraveling el Nino & la Nina. GRACE was also able to to measure the change of the Earth's crust caused by the December 2004 earthquake, that caused the huge tsunami.

For the satilite images on the Antarctic Circumpolar Current or the earthquake go here.
correction there~ been gathering data since March 2002. Iwatch the launches & was excited about this one, remembered the when wrong though.

To make up for it~ it's not quite the weather ball but~ This is an animation of the GRACE Gravity Model 01 which was released in July of 2003. This model is based upon preliminary data provided by the GRACE mission. The release of this preliminary model is a major advancement for oceanographers and a taste of scientific advancements yet to come from GRACE. Improved weather and climate change predictions now result from this model of Earth's gravity field 10 to 50 times more accurate than previous models.
Umm, if NASA is trying to silence Jim Hansen, how come we all know what hes saying?
46. F5
SarahFromFLA,

It's hard to know what Dr. Hansen's motivations are. I think he sincerely believes what he says, to the point it's become dogma for him, and he's closed his mind to any possibility that he could be wrong. However, that's just my personal opinion and is in no way based on any facts. I find it strange that other scientists at NASA have not felt the same way, so that Dr. Hansen is somehow being "Singled out". Just my .015 cents, adjusted downward for inflation.
You would think some smart entrepreneur would bottle the melting glacier water and sell it at outrageous prices.
I went through some data for a few other stations in the Arctic (Eureka and Resolute in Canada, and Barrow,AK) for the period from 1950 through 2004. I averaged annual mean temperatures by decade and for 2000-2004. At Eureka and Resolute, there was a cooling from the '50s through the '70s of 1.2C for Eureka and 0.7C for Resolute. Comparing the 2000-04 averages with the 1970s, there has been a warming of 2.0C at Eureka and 1.3C at Resolute. At Barrow,the cooling from the '50s through the '70s was only 0.2C, then a warming of 1.7C by the first half of the 2000s.
My sources were Environment Canada and the Western Regional Climate Center. At Barrow there were a few months with some missing data that I had to estimate based on data from Prudhoe Bay or Umiat,AK.

These trends could account for the smaller/thinner summer sea ice pack in the Arctic in recent years. The warming farther west in the Arctic began 15 to 20 years sooner than in Greenland. I'm curious about a couple of things - first, how far back do records go for summer sea ice coverage in the Arctic? Do we know what it was back in the 1930s, for example, and how that compares with recent years? Also, how much additional warming would have to occur for Arctic sea ice to disappear completely during the summer? How might this affect ocean currents, especially if combined with greater melting of the Greenland ice cap?

Dr.Masters - Thanks for your answers to some of our questions tonight! I'm certainly learning a lot.
F5 - Thanks for the links you posted earlier. I'm curious about what more warming would do to the Arctic, but at the same time wonder how much of this involves natural variation rather than human influence. I do think some reports are too alarmist.
50. Inyo
Posted By: SarahFromFLA at 5:39 AM GMT on February 23, 2006.
Umm, if NASA is trying to silence Jim Hansen, how come we all know what hes saying?


maybe they tried and failed?

but anyway, as someone who works for another government agency, i find the claim to be totally believable. i don't know anything about this one case but in both government and especially private firms relating to environmental issues (i think those firms may be part of my dislike of corporations), there is often pressure for findings to go one way or another despite findings.
NASA scientist Eric Rignot and University of Kansas researcher Pannir Kanagaratnam used ten years of satellite radar interferometry data to arrive at their conclusions.

University of Kansas; that's my school!! GO JAYHAWKS!!!!
52. F5
DenverMark,

That's exactly the problem. We have no way of measuring man's influence on the environment. However, it can be noted that Greenland has suffered wild swings in temperatur of over 2deg C and it seems related to the NAO.
hey DenverMark, the current estimate is that the year-round Arctic polar pack ice (ie. ice on the ocean) will be gone within 15 years, after that you will have ice forming annually in the winter and melting in the summer.

This will be the first time in a million years that the Arctic Ocean is ice free in summer, and is leading to strong positive feedback loops which will exacerbate the global warming which is causing the melting.
F5, you say we have no way of measuring man's influence on the environment. What we do have is the scientific method which is being applied. Climate model predictions are made of the degree of warming which could be expected given current atmospheric greenhouse gas levels plus the rate at which they continue to be emitted. These predictions are then compared to what is being observed. And what we've been seeing throughout this century (except for the 1950s through 1970s temperature drop caused by above ground nuclear testing) is precisely what the models predict - significant global warming. Don't believe it? Wait another decade - the rate of change in temperatures is accelerating as various positive feedback loops come into play.
Okay, let's assume the whole planet is 10C hotter in a decade. What proof is there that we caused it?
Colby, it can never be proven. That is not the point.

Our models predict the warming, and the warming is occurring. Why is it Americans have such a hard time admitting that THE MODELS COULD ACTUALLY BE RIGHT?

There's a neat little story on Accuweather:
http://wwwa.accuweather.com/promotion.asp?dir=aw&page=dustbowl

More a historical piece about the Dust Bowl conditions of the 1930s, but also reflecting the concern which has been voiced elsewhere that the US could be well on the way experiencing similar conditions in the immediate future.
ya never know snowboy
its not that it cant be proven its that we dont know how to prove it lol
This is so much better. Keeping this blog on topic at all times!!! This should strickly stay a weather or climate related blog. If anyone wants to just chat about lunch or other subjects, there are lots of other blogs you can use, including mine. There are also a lot of other blogs out there for specific topics for debat and discussion.

Thanks to all for keeping this blog for pure information.
hey seflagamma, good to hear from you - how's things in Fla?
Dear sarahfromfla,kudos on your keen observations.many of my friends on this site tend to get real hung up in the political rhetoric.you know,maybe we are royally screwing up our world.that sucks;but maybe that really is a natural part of the evolutionary process.We make our planet uninhabitable for humans,and in a couple thousand years the slugs shall inherit the earth.and the process starts all over again.lol
Broward County Florida (SE Florida)

sorry, don't mean to rub this in for those still in the cold!! beautiful day outside.

Updated: 10:53 AM EST on February 23, 2006
Observed At: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Elevation: 13 ft / 4 m

81 F / 27 C
Clear
Heat Index: 82 F / 28 C
Humidity: 58%
Dew Point: 64 F / 18 C
Wind: 7 mph / 11 km/h Variable
Pressure: 30.10 in / 1019 hPa

Gams
Hey snap Gamma

Current Conditions
George Town, Cayman Islands

Partly Cloudy and Windy

84F
Feels Like
88F

UV Index: 9 Very High
Wind: From the East Southeast at 21 mph

Humidity: 62%


Barometer: 30.06 in.


Hey snap Cregnebaa (and email me)

Webster, NY
Mostly Cloudy
Temp 38
Winds 8-14 MPH from the N/NW
UV Index 2
Humidity: 75%
Barometer: 29.83 in.
St Simons Island, GA

Light rain showers
Temp 63 F
Calm
UV Index: 2
Humidity 91%
Barometer: 30.03"
Current Conditions in St. Louis, Missouri:

Sky: A Few Clouds
Temp: 57 F
Winds: W 18 MPH
Humidity: 22% (18 F dewpoint)
Barometer: 30.13" (1020.8 mb)

Today's Forecast:
This Afternoon: Sunny, with a high around 59. West wind between 11 and 18 mph.

Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 30. North wind between 3 and 9 mph.
69. dcw
*ODD TC FORMATION ALERT*

A Tropical Storm seems to have just formed in the Atlantic. The South Atlantic.



Whoo-hoo! Fun fun fun!
On my blog, I have mentioned the dry conditions that I have experienced for the past year (a 365 day deficit of 6.9 inches, including 3.4 inches since December, although the Drought Monitor only shows abnormally dry). Also, the dryness is not very bad (yet), especially compared to Texas and Oklahoma.
naa i dont think so colby give us more proof
72. dcw
NRL has upgraded that system to Invest-90L, so I guess SOMEONE must be responsible for S Atl storms now...

I've posted imagery and links on my site.
wow dcw thats cool another one mazin
If anyone is interested - the weather in Milton Keynes, UK is -

Windchill: 24 F
Humidity: 100%
Wind: 24 mph from the East
Pressure: 1019 hPa
Visibility: 6.0 kilometres
Scattered Clouds 800 ft


Tomorrow's forcast is for max of 32 F with snow showers.
Far too cold for the end of February. Will you please send some sun from the USA!!

dcw,
As I recall the hurricane a few years was the first observed in S Alantic, but not sure about "Storms". You or anyone else have info on that?

Thanks,
Tim
Wikipedia has a list of tropical storms that have formed in the South Atlantic:

Angola Tropical Cyclone of 1991
Tropical Cyclone of January 2004
Cyclone Catarina (March 2004, Category 2)
Tropical Depression of December 2004
Subtropical Storm of January 2005

Link
ArkWeather,

In addition to the S. Atlantic hurricane of March 2004, there have also been two other cases of tropical cyclones forming in the S. Atlantic. One in 1991, and another that also formed in 2004. I believe there have also been storms/hurricanes in the Mediteranian Sea, and possibly one on Lake Huron in 1998.
Correction on Lake Huron event. It was September 11-15 1996. It also is not known whether it was tropical in nature or not.
Looks like it will get warmer than forecast, the air is also rather dry. Current Conditions in St. Louis, Missouri:

Sky: Partly Cloudy
Temp: 60 F
Winds: W 18 MPH, G 29 MPH
Humidity: 20% (19 F dewpoint)
Barometer: 30.11" (1019.9 mb)

I wonder if there is any connection between global warming and South Atlantic tropical storms?
80. F5
Snowboy,

It has nothing to do with being American. It has to do with accepting or questioning the predictions made by these models, as well as the quality of the input data. In addition, because there are so many factors at play, it's entirely possible that what appears to be causality on the surface is in fact, a non-factor. A better question would be why you blindly accept CO2 as the primary driver behind the current warming trend, for such an immensely complex system with countless inputs, many of which are not well understood alone, not to mention when combined into an overall climate system.
cdw was that for real????? or an old picture????
don't pull my leg about having a storm in the Atlantic right now!

Sunny South East Florida:
Updated: 3:53 PM EST on February 23, 2006
Observed At: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Elevation: 13 ft / 4 m

82 F / 28 C
Partly Cloudy
Heat Index: 84 F / 29 C
Humidity: 54%
Dew Point: 64 F / 18 C
Wind: 13 mph / 20 km/h from the SE

Oops, I see where his pictures is in the South Atlantic!
hey...if the oceans are rising .buy land now in Nevada or maybe Idaho, Vermont...Ohio ....could be beach front in a few thousand years....

gotta go call my real estate agent

Magnitude 7.5 Earthquake Hits


come to my blog and find out more on it
From USGS website (here):

One person killed at Espungabera and one person killed at Machaze. Thirteen people injured, buildings damaged at Beira and Chimoyo and power outages occurred at Maputo. Felt (V) at Beira, Inhambane, Maputo and Matola. Felt (IV) at Harare and Mutare, Zimbabwe. Also felt (IV) at Louis Trichardt and Phalaborwa; (III) at Durban and Middelburg; (II) at Johannesburg and Pretoria, South Africa. Felt throughout Mozambique and eastern Zimbabwe. Felt in Swaziland and at Lobatse, Botswana and Lusaka, Zambia.



Looks like the earthquake didn't do much damage and only two fatalities (there have been too many destructive and deadly earthquakes in the past year or so), so it is good to see that this one didn't cause great damage and loss of life (I also noticed that it has been downgraded to 7.4).
Here's an interesting article out today involving some major studies on global warming & pollution's impact on the oceans & how in turn that impacts humans.
Many times we've wondered why aren't there more buoys? Well it sounds kind of like some boaters don't respect the very things that help give them a heads up on the weather & that much of the buoy money goes to repair...Link
http://philadelphiaweather.blogspot.com/2006/02/tropical-weather-south-atlantic.html

Part of the thing that is interesting about this system is that it looks to be somewhat of a hybrid. I know that there's been a good bit of discussion about the tropical legitimacy of Catalina back in 2004 -- and that seemed to be a good bit more tropical than this current system in the South Atlantic. It still is interesting to watch and if it persists we could have a tropical cyclone again in the South Atlantic!
Anybody want to read my blog and post comments?

The South Atlantic system does not look too impressive to me, although it may flare up during the diurnal max.

It was looking excellent earlier, but the typical S Atl high shear totally destroyed it this evening :(
Cyclone Carina is looking verrrrrrrrrry good, down like 15mb in 12 hours:

: ForecasterColby mail for you
93. F5
Skyepony,

Here's a link to something similar. This article talks more about the role of nutrient levels regarding algal blooms and coral. Note that coral need warm ocean temperatures, but too much phosphorus in the water allows seawood to overtake coral.

Changes in reef latitude: Is pollution causing regional coral extinctions?"

Global warming is mentioned as a contributing factor in coral bleaching, but they are more concerned about nutrient runoff.
The South Atlantic system looks pretty much the same as it did several hours ago, with a very small area of convection with tops of -50 C, so it is apparantly not dissipating or strenthening (yet). For some reason, the NRL has it listed as 90L and 90Q.

Take a look at this (GFS), it indicate that there may be up to three chances for a tropical storm in the South Atlantic (look at cyclones 75, 94 and 106; all become warm-core and form in 90 to 114 hours). The UKM predicts at least one warm-core cyclone in 84 hours (other models show nothing).
F5 (in response to your 8:35 GMT post), I accept the climate models' predictions that greenhouse gases will lead to global warming because I've taken climatology courses and seen what goes into these models. They are for sure not perfect, but they're the best we have. And they point clearly at a link between rising atmospheric greenhouse gas levels and rising temperatures, which much of the rest of world accepts and which a significant Americans for some reason (the influence of what they're hearing and not hearing from US media and government?) don't.

Denying that there is an issue won't make it go away...
F5 ~ thanks for the article. I caught a NOVA show on the African dust effect on the Carribian coral not to long ago (also brought asthma to the children there). Been following NOAA's news on their coral bleaching due to high SST. So that article really rounded out the causes for me.

I remember when 1st the deep injection septic well was installed in Melbourne, as a teen I was appalled. It was basically set up to go under the lake that the city gets its water from(i was on a well). Now the gambling & cruise ships dump it reguraly just off the coast. No amount of protests by the public has hindered it. I've seen crap float in on the tide.

In the latest installment, by NOAA, of the coral bleaching event this last fall in the gulf~ there was a point made~
"It is the cumulative impact of a number of seemingly small injuries that appear to be causing the overall degradation of many coral reefs," said Schmahl. "Think of it as being 'pecked to death by ducks.' As managers, it is our responsibility to reduce the total number of things that are causing stress on corals. Although we can not control coral bleaching, we may be able to control some of the other potential impacts that contribute to the total stress on coral reefs."

Luckily the coral bleaching event seems to have reversed itself. But these managers have a huge task ahead of them... Can't much imediately reverse the SST warming. How do you stop Africian dust? Stop Fl's pollution? Citrus grove pollution here is rectified by the developers. (My good friends~never get a house on a lot that was a grove in the '50's or later. The human/animal cancer numbers in these areas are spiked~ within 5 years of development.)

'pecked to death by ducks' really rings through as far as our climate change. The same could be said for the ice caps in Greenland.

MichaelSTL~ Hey, welcome~ I enjoyed your blog. You look as though your bright, with much to contribute. Though I have to say on the models you presented, on the right it also shows none of the projected storms are forcasted to go below 1010mb, while totally warm cored.

Snowboy~ I have to agree with F5... Because your an Americian doesn't mean you don't believe human caused global warming exists. I first learned about it jr. high in public school, it was taught to me right on through science classes through college. Many of our older generations don't believe, from what i've seen & they tend to vote. Most everyone I know believes that we have atleast a partial cause in global warming, yet we have near no power alternatives.
snowboy, I think I saw one of your posts in Fshhead's blog where you mentioned that the summer ice pack on the Arctic Ocean has decreased by 2/3 since 1975. It would make sense that the lower albedo due to large areas of ice being gone in the summer would explain at least some of the warming in the Canadian Arctic. My questions are, has much of the damage already been done, so to speak? If the rest of the ice melts off in summer right up to the Pole, how much more warming would that lead to? After that, would the warming slow as a new balance of sorts is reached? How would the disappearance of summer ice on the ocean affect Greenland? I'm having fun trying to figure this out.
Skyepony - the fact that none of the storms are projected to go below 1010 mb does not mean much because the models do not resolve tropical cyclones that well; for example, when I looked in the archive for past examples (to see what to look for), the phase diagram for Katrina (which I did not see while it was active because I only discovered the phase analysis site around October) only shows Katrina going to 970 mb, not 950 (the minimum it will display; Link).
Oh, I also found that the winter storm mentioned by Masters a while ago was not the most intense extratropical storm in the Atlantic ever, as seen here) - there was a 916 mb storm (near the Faeroe Islands, wherever they are) in 1993 and a 924 mb storm in 2003!
DenverMark,

No one really knows that answer to those questions you propose. Everyone talks about lower albedo from less ice, but I've seen reports that we are actually increasing albedo and reflecting more energy then before. Strange, huh? Now it could be an outdated report these days, but this was only a few months ago, If I remember correctly.

All people can really do is speculate about changes global warming will cause. The warming could end up being a good thing, unlocking millions of acres that were once covered by ice without causing the massive problems some people expect closer to the equator.

Or the opposite could happen; It warms to such an extent that we have severe climate change resulting in radically different weather for areas of the world. This change could result in jet streams that are much father north, allowing tropical systems to form year round in the Atlantic and other basins in the world. Drought could plague areas and cause desserts to expand rapidly.

Or we could have another scenario; the melting of the ice caps in both the Artic and Antartic, cause a major change in salinity levels in the ocean resulting in the shutting down and reorganizing of the currents worldwide. During the shutdown of currents we would most likely dive head first into an ice age since heat would be locked at the equator and not be brought up to the mid-latitudes. After the currents reorganized anything could happen as far as climate change goes.

Or the warming could stop tomorrow. Unlikely, but still possible in every sense. Since we really dont understand completely what is driving global warming(some would say its pure C02, but that it arrogant and irresponsible, IMO, to act like we have a complete understanding of our environment) so we cant rule it out that tomorrow, or next week, or next year, that the climate wont stop warming and start a cooling trend, or even just moderate for a decade or more. We really just dont know because we have dont know all the variables and we dont know how strong the relationships are between the variables and changes in the climate.
Oh, I also found one for Andrew as well, never going below 1010 mb (although this was 1992).
103. F5
Snowboy,

Seeing what goes into the models doesn't make them more accurate. In the programming world, we say GIGO...Garbage in, garbage out. It has been pointed out repeatedly that their assumptions regarding temperature as well as CO2 levels are incorrect. In addition, they use a "fudge factor" as an input based on outputs of various ensemble models, in order to correlate their data. In addition, given the seeming inability to understand the workings of the various factors both stand-alone as well as in concert should make anymore MORE skeptical about pinning the current warming on any particular variable. CO2 is an easy target, but that doesn't mean there is causality. Even if over a 50 year period, they were in agreement, it still wouldn't mean that another factor or factors combined wasn't responsible. And if your model is designed to detect what different levels of CO2 in the atmosphere will do to temperatures, is it any wonder what the response is when they add additional CO2 to the model. Given that CO2 isn't even all that great a GHG, one wonders what all the fuss is about. Methane in the atmosphere is a much higher GHG than CO2, as is wator vapor. Given that they've recently discovered that plants produce a lot more methane than previously known, how is that handled in these "models"? What about albedo, land-use changes, coulds, solar radiation, sunspots, earth distance/angle from sun, cosmic rays, amongst other known variables. Are the models initializing and properly handling the role of all of those components. What about when they act together, do the models handle all that as well? Given that they are not well-understand yet, it would be an unbelievably low percentage likelihood that they are.

That is why I discount the minute warming that has occurred, and why I have little faith in models as predictors.

As for what we hear in the states, we hear the same thing over and over again. The sky is falling, we are at a tipping point, yada yada yada. You rarely, if ever, hear the opposing side. You have to dig for the information, but it's out there, and trust me, I read as much of it as I can, so I counter-balance to some degree all the gloom and doom that's spread about.

You want a real statistic...

Since February 16, 2005, the Kyoto Protocol has cost US$ 153,280,606,906 while potentially saving an undetectable 0.001589577 C by the year 2050.

Malaria cost US$ 134,295,730,776 in lost GDP and 2,759,050 lives over the same period.

And an article on the subject


Denying that there is an issue won't make it go away...
High cost of malaria
F5, those arguments are great if you want to shoot down the models. It's like shooting the messenger. But what if (despite the imperfections of the models) the message is true?

I have not seen any serious climatologist putting forward other theories or explanations to explain the warming that has been occurring over the past 120 years (since the start of the Industrial Age).

btw, I agree that malaria is a huge problem which should be getting much more attention. But if you're going to get onto the subject of misallocation of resources, there much more being spent on much more dubious things than combatting climate change (eg. military spending comes to mind...).

And I'm curious, how is it that the US which hasn't signed onto the Kyoto Protocol has managed to spend $153 billion on it?
105. F5
Sorry, should have been "clouds", not "coulds"
Malaria may claim a lot of lives and exerts a great economic cost but it is AIDS/HIV that bugs me more, especially because it is so simple to prevent infection - AIDS only spreads through direct contact with body fluids. The statistics are alarming - Link
There is no reason for 40 million people to be living with AIDS or 3 million deaths per year or 12 million AIDS orphans.
I don't know if the HIV virus is capable of mutating like bird flu, but if it ever became able to spread like the flu...
107. F5
Well, if you would go read the link you would understand. It didn't state that the US spent that much, it said that the total spent on Kyoto was that much in US dollars.

And if you aren't finding other serious climatologists putting forthe other hypothesis, then you aren't looking very hard. Go read the blogs at Climate Science at CSU. Dr. Roger Pielke Sr. is a serious climatologist and there are links on the blog pages to the latest studies. The information is there "if you really want to find it."

Here's a link to issues with the climate models..

Climate Models

Read away...
108. F5
MichaelSTL,

It wouldn't take hundreds of billions to prevent HIV/AIDS infections, since as you state, it's mostly a behavioral issue. To combat malaria though, you need to control mosquitos, which pretty much requires DDT. Unfortunately, the western world has basically told Africa and other areas where malaria thrives they can go pound sand. Use DDT and we cut off aid money. This despite the fact that the dangers surrounding DDT were vastly overstated. But we are willing to condemn millions of people to die for it.
Invest 90L still look the same as it did 6 1/2 hours ago, except that the convection is now right in the center (assuming the big blob to the right is not associated). If this does become a tropical storm, it just may be the smallest tropical storm ever seen (still at 30 mph).

Good morning,everyone - A good discussion here. I value everyone's view on global warming. My view has always been that since we don't know how much of the warming trend is due to human activities, we should be taking prudent steps to reduce fossil fuel use and develop alternative energy without taking extreme measures that would damage the world economy. I still hold to the view that oil prices will rise so much in the next 10-15 years, that action will be taken.

Snowboy - I think Canadians do have some valid complaints with the U.S.,especially with pollution from the Midwestern states going up to Ontario and Quebec. Also with the U.S expecting Canada to tear up large areas in Alberta with the oil sands so we can have more oil. Many Americans do care about the GW issue and get frustrated with the politics,etc.

F5 - I appreciate your countering views to the usual wisdom that it's all or mostly CO2 emissions that are causing the warming. That's why we shouldn't take drastic measures that we may regret later. Also, global warming hasn't killed very many people yet. Bad as the death toll has been from some of the 'canes in the last few years, it doesn't begin to compare with malaria or HIV/AIDS. We must consider what is the most serious issue facing us.

Hurricane Myles - That's what's so important, we don't really know what will happen. That's why I don't like the doomsday scenarios and hype that some people go for. Few seem to consider that GW may be more beneficial than harmful.

Have a great day everyone!
I agree lots of other issues are more pressing and do not get the full attention they need like Aids/ Malaria, but also genocide and famine, which could be prevented.
Look at the close to 1 million people killed in Rwanda when the world turned the other way.
Namibia has 21% of its population having AIDS.
Botswana a staggering 37.3%.

The sad fact is these tragedies are occurring to poorer nations, and the richer developed nations will always focus on its own problems, that is human nature, look after your own.
That is why Global warming gets so much attention and rising sea levels will affect us.
Namibia has 21% of its population having AIDS.
Botswana a staggering 37.3%.
112. Inyo
DDT does indeed cause huge impacts, killing off huge chunks of the fish and bird populations. Now you can argue that 'humans are more important' than fish or birds but nevertheless, the impact is great. I have a REALLY hard time believing that the ONLY way to control mosquitos is DDT. If we really cared about other countries, i agree that rather than just banning DDT we should help them combat the problem using other solutions. But saying 'you HAVE To massively dump this toxin everywhere or you will die of malaria' is a silly scare tactic imho (been reading too much Crichton?) and there are sure to be much better solutions.

Also as people are dying in the third world country mainly due to sanitation problems, poverty, and overpopulation, even curing malaria tomorrow wouldnt fix these problems. The solutions are much more complex than just dumping DDT everywhere.. I don't claim to know all the answers, but i know a mistake when i see one. and i reject the 'we can EITHER stop global warming or malarua' argument... this is from the same train of thought of politicials who take a million or two dollars from the Park Service to pay for schools (or visa versa) and then pull the whole 'but think of the CHILDREN' bull poop.... while meanwhile they are spending billions and billions of dollars on other causes which seem much less worthy.

back to weather.. to the person who said warming would shift the jet stream north: what is the logic behind this? The circulation patterns that feed the jet stream are driven by temperature differences not by pure temperatures. also,
-most models predict wetter conditions in southern California after warming, which is inconsistent with a further north jet stream
-El Nino, which results in net warming, actually brings the jet stream south or strengthens the southern jet stream. La Nina, associated with colder than average temperatures, forces it north. I know that El Nino only occurs on one part fo the ocean, but it is linked to warmer worldwide temperatuers (when El Nino occurs, the world average goes up a bit)
Those who think that rapid climate change is only a US problem or a First World problem are sadly mistaken. Think of the several hundred thousand destitute individuals living in the Ganges Delta of Bangladesh, only a foot or two above sea level. What happens when their land simply disappears beneath the waves? Think about the subsistence farmers and pastoralists of Sahelian Africa. What happens to them when the Sahara expands southward, swallowing up their fields and pastures? I could go on and on. These hapless individuals do not even have solvent or competent governments to look after their needs. Yes, they have other terrible burdens to bear already; but this is all the more reason not to take their vulnerability to climate change lightly.
Surprise: 90L.INVEST does not appear to be dead yet.



On the other hand, JTWC has issued the final advisory on TC Kate (which was originally forcast to strike Australia at around hurricane intensity when it developed) and TC Carina has been kept at 55 kts since last night.
Inyo,

I was simply stating scenarios. Look at my post again. I never said any of that would actually happen, just that any of those scenarios are plausible because we dont understand the Earth's climate well enough to rule them out.

In fact, what I was doing the most was stating the extreme scenarios that lots of people predict. Ala, no real problems, just less ice; servere warming with lots of hurricanes; ice age; and its natural and will stop. Any of that could happen because we really dont know whats going on.
116. F5
Inyo,

I suggest you read the following links before you trash DDT.

DDT FAQ

Study

Malaria clock

And so on...studies have shown that DDT does NOT have deleterious effects on fish and wildlife. It's very similar to the ALAR scare from the 70's or 80's. Nothing but junk science and politics.

The cost is extremely high in terms of dollars and human lives.

As for people living in the Ganges river delta or the Saharan subsistence farmers, people will adapt. Crikey, it's not like the oceans will rise 3 foot tomorrow washing away the land, if it happens at all.

And yes, at some point, it does become a prioritized issue list. There is only so much money to go around, unless you advocate confiscating additional earnings from people to pay for other's pet projects that may have little real benefit. In the meantime, there are REAL issues that are CURRENT and need to be addressed TODAY. Malaria, HIV/AIDS, poverty, starvation, etc.
To those who believe in Human induced warming, it is a current problem. Prevention is always better than reaction.
Look at the lastest avian flu, and all the media attention it is getting. Yet it has yet to pass from human to human (not looking forward to if it ever does).
Governments are stockpiling flu shots in case this does happen. This is prevention.
Reducing our impact on the current enviroment is also prevention and so is current.
118. jeffB
Um, F5, Inyo, isn't a discussion of DDT's effects (and related controversies) getting a bit off-topic, if not political? :-)
119. Inyo
um, i am a biologist and i can guarantee that ddt has been proven to weaken the shells of eggs and inhibit them from surviving. Sure, 'who cares about birds' etc, but if you douse the world with ddt, mosquitos WILL eventually develop immunity, and birds, one of their only natural predators, will crash in population.

the links you posted are just to political rants and are not scientifically impartial results. I could point you to many, many papers documenting the effect of DDT on a lot of birds off the coast of California, but since this thread is 2 layers deep now, i won't. But seriously.. look at the links you sent me and tell me they arent horribly biased.

The best way, in my opinion, to treat malaria, is to develop better vaccines and treatments for the disease itself. Trying to eliminate mosquitos is a lost cause.. i wish it could be done too!

also, on a side note, global warming has been shown to allow malaria-carrying mosquitos to move north in their range. So the issues are not unrelated.