Monday, August 14, 2006


August 2006 journal abstract from here

By Andrew J. Monaghan et al

Antarctic snowfall exhibits substantial variability over a range of time scales, with consequent impacts on global sea level and the mass balance of the ice sheets. To assess how snowfall has affected the thickness of the ice sheets in Antarctica and to provide an extended perspective, we derived a 50-year time series of snowfall accumulation over the continent by combining model simulations and observations primarily from ice cores. There has been no statistically significant change in snowfall since the 1950s, indicating that Antarctic precipitation is not mitigating global sea level rise as expected, despite recent winter warming of the overlying atmosphere.

(IF the planet is warming up there should be MORE snow falling)


One of the better spoofs of Ecoenquirer

(Washington, DC) The Environmental Protection Agency is seeking to classify water vapor as a pollutant, due to its central role in global warming. Because water vapor is the dominant greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, accounting for at least 90% of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect, its emission during many human activities, such as the burning of fuels, is coming under increasing scrutiny by federal regulators.

Until now, the carbon dioxide produced during the burning of fuels has been the main concern. The extra carbon dioxide causes a manmade enhancement of the greenhouse effect. But water vapor is also produced by combustion of most fuels, as well as by industry and utilities that use water for cooling. The EPA would be able to regulate its manmade sources if it is classified as a pollutant.

EPA Director of the Department of Pollutant Decrees, Ray Donaldson, said, "Back before carbon dioxide was dangerous, we simply assumed that water vapor was also benign. But all reputable scientists now agree that the increased water vapor content of the atmosphere from such sources as burning of fuels and power plant cooling towers will also enhance the greenhouse effect, leading to potentially catastrophic warming."

If successful, the push to classify water vapor as a dangerous pollutant would impact virtually everyone. For instance, homeowners could see a wide variety of common activities that cause evaporation being regulated: watering the lawn, or using a hot tub or swimming pool.

"Right now, we are not so concerned about the water vapor exhaled by people. That is low on our list of priorities", said Mr. Donaldson. "We'll tackle that manmade source at a later time." One likely result of such regulation would be an additional tax on fuels used by cars, trucks, passenger jets, and a wide variety of industries and utilities.

Predictably, the Bush Administration has voiced opposition to any regulation of water vapor emissions. White House staffer Lew Moninsky told ecoEnquirer, "This is simply ridiculous. The EPA wants to regulate all human activity out of existence. What about the massive amounts of water vapor being evaporated from the world's oceans every second? That's OK?, but human production of small amounts of vapor isn't? If it weren't for water vapor, there would be no rainfall! Give me a break!"

"Well, of course the Administration would say that...", said Mr. Donaldson, "..they're in the pocket of 'big oil' anyway."

The EPA is rumored to have a rather extensive list of potential pollutants in addition to water vapor, and some insiders claim that all known chemical compounds are targeted for future regulation. When informed of the rumored list of chemicals, Mr. Moninsky asked, "Well, since everything is made of chemicals, I guess that means that even every molecule of your body will be subject to regulation as well, doesn't it?"

Asked for their position on the matter, Greenpolice spokesperson Rainbow Treetower stated, "Our basic policy is, if it's good for people, it's bad for the planet."


In the past few decades, a handful of scientists have come up with big, futuristic ways to fight global warming: Build sunshades in orbit to cool the planet. Tinker with clouds to make them reflect more sunlight back into space. Trick oceans into soaking up more heat-trapping greenhouse gases. Their proposals were relegated to the fringes of climate science. Few journals would publish them. Few government agencies would pay for feasibility studies. Environmentalists and mainstream scientists said the focus should be on reducing greenhouse gases and preventing global warming in the first place.

But now, in a major reversal, some of the world's most prominent scientists say the proposals deserve a serious look because of growing concerns about global warming. Worried about a potential planetary crisis, these leaders are calling on governments and scientific groups to study exotic ways to reduce global warming, seeing them as possible fallback positions if the planet eventually needs a dose of emergency cooling. "We should treat these ideas like any other research and get into the mind-set of taking them seriously," said Ralph J. Cicerone, president of the National Academy of Sciences in Washington.

The plans and proposed studies are part of a controversial field known as geoengineering, which means rearranging the earth's environment on a large scale to suit human needs and promote habitability. Dr. Cicerone, an atmospheric chemist, will detail his arguments in favor of geoengineering studies in the August issue of the journal Climatic Change.

Practicing what he preaches, Dr. Cicerone is also encouraging leading scientists to join the geoengineering fray. In April, at his invitation, Roger P. Angel, a noted astronomer at the University of Arizona, spoke at the academy's annual meeting. Dr. Angel outlined a plan to put into orbit small lenses that would bend sunlight away from earth - trillions of lenses, he now calculates, each about two feet wide, extraordinarily thin and weighing little more than a butterfly. In addition, Dr. Cicerone recently joined a bitter dispute over whether a Nobel laureate's geoengineering ideas should be aired, and he helped get them accepted for publication. The laureate, Paul J. Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany, is a star of atmospheric science who won his Nobel in 1995 for showing how industrial gases damage the earth's ozone shield. His paper newly examines the risks and benefits of trying to cool the planet by injecting sulfur into the stratosphere.

The paper "should not be taken as a license to go out and pollute," Dr. Cicerone said in an interview, emphasizing that most scientists thought curbing greenhouse gases should be the top priority. But he added, "In my opinion, he's written a brilliant paper." Geoengineering is no magic bullet, Dr. Cicerone said. But done correctly, he added, it will act like an insurance policy if the world one day faces a crisis of overheating, with repercussions like melting icecaps, droughts, famines, rising sea levels and coastal flooding. "A lot of us have been saying we don't like the idea" of geoengineering, he said. But he added, "We need to think about it" and learn, among other things, how to distinguish sound proposals from ones that are ineffectual or dangerous.

Many scientists still deride geoengineering as an irresponsible dream with more risks and potential bad side effects than benefits; they call its extreme remedies a good reason to redouble efforts at reducing heat-trapping gases like carbon dioxide. And skeptics of human-induced global warming dismiss geoengineering as a costly effort to battle a mirage.

Even so, many analysts say the prominence of its new advocates is giving the field greater visibility and credibility and adding to the likelihood that global leaders may one day consider taking such emergency steps. "People used to say, 'Shut up, the world isn't ready for this,' " said Wallace S. Broecker, a geoengineering pioneer at Columbia. "Maybe the world has changed."

Michael C. MacCracken, chief scientist of the Climate Institute, a private research group in Washington, said he was resigned to the need to take geoengineering seriously. "It's really too bad," Dr. MacCracken said, "that the United States and the world cannot do much more so that it's not necessary to consider getting addicted to one of these approaches."

Martin A. Apple, president of the Council of Scientific Society Presidents, said of geoengineering at a recent meeting in Washington, "Let's talk about research funding with enough zeroes on it so we can make a dent."

The study of futuristic countermeasures began quietly in the 1960's, as scientists theorized that global warming caused by human-generated emissions might one day pose a serious threat. But little happened until the 1980's, when global temperatures started to rise. Some scientists noted that the earth reflected about 30 percent of incoming sunlight back into space and absorbed the rest. Slight increases of reflectivity, they reasoned, could easily counteract heat-trapping gases, thereby cooling the planet. Dr. Broecker of Columbia proposed doing so by lacing the stratosphere with tons of sulfur dioxide, as erupting volcanoes occasionally do. The injections, he calculated in the 80's, would require a fleet of hundreds of jumbo jets and, as a byproduct, would increase acid rain.

By 1997, such futuristic visions found a prominent advocate in Edward Teller, a main inventor of the hydrogen bomb. "Injecting sunlight-scattering particles into the stratosphere appears to be a promising approach," Dr. Teller wrote in The Wall Street Journal. "Why not do that?"

But government agencies usually balked at paying researchers to study such far-out ideas, and even ones that were more down to earth. John Latham, an atmospheric physicist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Colorado, told how he and his colleagues had unsuccessfully sought for many years to test whether spraying saltwater mists into low ocean clouds might increase their reflectivity. "We haven't found a way in," Dr. Latham said of government financing. "It's been a bit dispiriting."

Other plans called for reflective films to be laid over deserts or white plastic islands to be floated on the world's oceans, both as ways to reflect more sunlight into space. Another idea was to fertilize the sea with iron, creating vast blooms of plants that would gulp down tons of carbon dioxide and, as the plants died, drag the carbon into the abyss.

The general reaction to such ideas, said Alvia Gaskill, president of Environmental Reference Materials Inc., a consulting firm in North Carolina that advocates geoengineering, "has been dismissive and sometimes frightened - afraid that we don't know what the consequences will be of making large-scale changes to the environment." Dr. Gaskill said small experiments would let researchers quickly pull the plug if such tinkering started to go awry.

Critics of geoengineering argued that it made more sense to avoid global warming than to gamble on risky fixes. They called for reducing energy use, developing alternative sources of power and curbing greenhouse gases. But international efforts like the Kyoto Protocol - which the United States never ratified, and which China and India as members of the developing world never had to obey, freeing the current and projected leaders in greenhouse gas emissions from its restrictions - have so far failed to diminish the threat. Scientists estimate that the earth's surface temperature this century may rise as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Geoengineering's advocates say humankind is already vastly altering the global environment and simply needs to do so more intelligently.....

More here


Many people would like to be kind to others so Leftists exploit that with their nonsense about equality. Most people want a clean, green environment so Greenies exploit that by inventing all sorts of far-fetched threats to the environment. But for both, the real motive is to promote themselves as wiser and better than everyone else, truth regardless.

Global warming has taken the place of Communism as an absurdity that "liberals" will defend to the death regardless of the evidence showing its folly. Evidence never has mattered to real Leftists

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