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Thread: Climate Change

  1. #16

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    Novaya Zemlya [n"vIu zimly'] , archipelago, c.35,000 sq mi (90,650 sq km), in the Arctic Ocean between the Barents and Kara seas, NW Russia. It consists of two main islands (separated by Matochkin Strait) and many smaller ones. The mountains, rising to c.3,500 ft (1,070 m), are a continuation of the Urals. In the north the archipelago is glaciated and covered by arctic desert; the southern part is tundra. Copper, lead, zinc, and asphaltite are found there. Fishing, sealing, and trapping are the chief occupations of the small population, which lives mainly along the western coast. The islands were used for thermonuclear testing by the Russians, who still maintain a nonnuclear weapons test site there. Explored by Novgorodians in the 11th or 12th cent., the islands were sighted by explorers searching for the Northeast Passage in the 1500s. Since the mid-1800s Russians have built settlements and scientific stations there.

    Source- The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia

  2. #17

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    OK, not Japan. But it's that Japan-shaped island north of Russia. That's what I'm talking about. If you still don't see where the ice increased then I'll just go ahead and say it: On the top of the picture. I wonder why there is an increase of ice there. Maybe the changing ice has nothing to do with global warming if it is increasing in some areas...

  3. #18

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    Stockton, that is Greenland covered in ice. Australia is closer to Japan. Which is why if you just skim the picture, as i did, you can mistake the areas for Japan and Australia, although I should've realized there was no ice there.

  4. #19

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    Yeah Stockton, I won't hold it against you. Is Stevie Wonder your geography tutor? :wink: :lol:

    Free-T, are you sure it's not Iceland?

  5. #20

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    So you were just skimming the picture, but you were looking carefully enough to notice that there's slightly more ice in one corner of the image.

    The point is that there's less ice, not where it is. It's a computer-generated image anyway.

    So Australia is closer to Japan? About as close as we are to Argentina.

    You clearly know next to nothing about this topic, other than some propaganda you're ready to spew about doom-and-gloom liberal tax-and-spend tree-hugging environmentalist scientists who are going to destroy America. Spare me.

  6. #21

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    President Bush's critics have watched with mounting frustration as his administration has compiled one of the worst environmental records in recent history without paying any real political price. One reason may be that the issues at stake are too regional, like forest fires or salmon recovery, or too remote, like global warming.
    So Bush should pay the political price for forest fires? I thought that was Gray Davis's fault?!

    I'm all about holding politicians accountable, but give me a break...forest fires?!

    Who is responsible for hurricanes, Fidel Castro?

  7. #22

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    Bad comparison. Unlike hurricanes, forest fires are influenced by environmental policy.

    FT, I would have explained, but if you really thought Japan was next to the ice cap...well, here goes:

    The size of the ice cap determines how much sunlight is reflected back away from the earth. The more radiant energy that gets through the atmosphere, the higher the temperature, which in turn melts more ice. The danger is that you can reach a point where the process spirals out of control, and is not affected by any action we take.

    The reverse of this process is how an ice-age develops.

  8. #23

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    Bad comparison. Unlike hurricanes, forest fires are influenced by environmental policy.
    Zippy, I am not trying to be argumentative, but this just seems absurd.

    As far as I know Bush has advocated for more logging and forest management by lumber companies, the very people who would have a great deal to gain if forests were healthy and reached full maturity, not a scorched pile of cinders.

    I thought my comparison was apt, in that both phenomena rely on atmospheric conditions, (which can be loosly corrolated to environmental policy), but are random and unpredictable forces of nature that operate in cycles beyond our control.*

    *Before settlers moved to California the natives would conduct controlled burns every year to keep these unpredictable fires from popping up, (of course white men knew better than these savages.)

    If Bush is against controlled burns conducted by forestry experts then I think his environmental policy stinks with regard to this subject, barring that I think making political hay out of natural disasters is distasteful at the very least.

  9. #24

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    October 29, 2003

    The Warming Is Global but the Legislating, in the U.S., Is All Local

    By JENNIFER 8. LEE


    Workers installed solar panels atop the San Francisco convention center in August, a result of a new California energy initiative.

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 28 Motivated by environmental and economic concerns, states have become the driving force in efforts to combat global warming even as mandatory programs on the federal level have largely stalled.

    At least half of the states are addressing global warming, whether through legislation, lawsuits against the Bush administration or programs initiated by governors.

    In the last three years, state legislatures have passed at least 29 bills, usually with bipartisan support. The most contentious is California's 2002 law to set strict limits for new cars on emissions of carbon dioxide, the gas that scientists say has the greatest role in global warming.

    While few of the state laws will have as much impact as California's, they are not merely symbolic. In addition to caps on emissions of gases like carbon dioxide that can cause the atmosphere to heat up like a greenhouse, they include registries to track such emissions, efforts to diversify fuel sources and the use of crops to capture carbon dioxide by taking it out of the atmosphere and into the ground.

    Aside from their practical effects, supporters say, these efforts will put pressure on Congress and the administration to enact federal legislation, if only to bring order to a patchwork of state laws.

    States are moving ahead in large part to fill the vacuum that has been left by the federal government, said David Danner, the energy adviser for Gov. Gary Locke of Washington.

    "We hope to see the problem addressed at the federal level," Mr. Danner said, "but we're not waiting around."

    There are some initiatives in Congress, but for the moment even their backers acknowledge that they are doomed, given strong opposition from industry, the Bush administration which favors voluntary controls and most Congressional Republicans.

    This week, the Senate is scheduled to vote on a proposal to create a national regulatory structure for carbon dioxide. This would be the first vote for either house on a measure to restrict the gas.

    The proposal's primary sponsors, Senator John McCain, Republican of Arizona, and Senator Joseph I. Lieberman, Democrat of Connecticut, see it mainly as a way to force senators to take a position on the issue, given the measure's slim prospects.

    States are acting partly because of predictions that global warming could damage local economies by harming agriculture, eroding shorelines and hurting tourism.

    "We're already seeing things which may be linked to global warming here in the state," Mr. Danner said. "We have low snowpack, increased forest fire danger."

    Environmental groups and officials in state governments say that energy initiatives are easier to move forward on the local level because they span constituencies industrial and service sectors, Democrat and Republican, urban and rural.

    While the coal, oil and automobile industries have big lobbies in Washington, the industry presence is diluted on the state level. Environmental groups say this was crucial to winning a legislative battle over automobile emissions in California, where the automobile industry did not have a long history of large campaign donations and instead had to rely on a six-month advertising campaign to make its case.

    Local businesses are also interested in policy decisions because of concerns about long-term energy costs, said Christopher James, director of air planning and standards for the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection. As a result, environmental groups are shifting their efforts to focus outside Washington.

    Five years ago the assumption was that the climate treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol was the only effort in town, said Rhys Roth, the executive director of Climate Solutions, which works on global warming issues in the Pacific Northwest states. But since President Bush rejected the Kyoto pact in 2001, local groups have been emerging on the regional, state and municipal levels.

    The Climate Action Network, a worldwide conglomeration of nongovernment organizations working on global warming, doubled its membership of state and local groups in the last two years.

    The burst of activity is not limited to the states with a traditional environmental bent.

    At least 15 states, including Texas and Nevada, are forcing their state electric utilities to diversify beyond coal and oil to energy sources like wind and solar power.

    Even rural states are linking their agricultural practices to global warming. Nebraska, Oklahoma and Wyoming have all passed initiatives in anticipation of future greenhouse-gas emission trading, hoping they can capitalize on their forests and crops to capture carbon dioxide during photosynthesis.

    Cities are also adopting new energy policies. San Franciscans approved a $100 million bond initiative in 2001 to pay for solar panels for municipal buildings, including the San Francisco convention center.

    The rising level of state activity is causing concern among those who oppose carbon dioxide regulation.

    "I believe the states are being used to force a federal mandate," said Sandy Liddy Bourne, who does research on global warming for the American Legislative Exchange Council, a group contending that carbon dioxide should not be regulated because it is not a pollutant. "Rarely do you see so many bills in one subject area introduced across the country."

    The council started tracking state legislation, which they call son-of-Kyoto bills, weekly after they noticed a significant rise in greenhouse-gas-related legislation two years ago. This year, the council says, 24 states have introduced 90 bills that would build frameworks for regulating carbon dioxide. Sixty-six such bills were introduced in all of 2001 and 2002.

    Some of the activity has graduated to a regional level. Last summer, Gov. George E. Pataki of New York invited 10 Northeastern states to set up a regional trading network where power plants could buy and sell carbon dioxide credits in an effort to lower overall emissions. In 2001, six New England states entered into an agreement with Canadian provinces to cap overall emissions by 2010. Last month, California, Washington and Oregon announced that they would start looking at shared strategies to address global warming.

    To be sure, some states have decided not to embrace policies to combat global warming. Six Alabama, Illinois, Kentucky, Oklahoma, West Virginia and Wyoming have explicitly passed laws against any mandatory reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.

    "My concern," said Ms. Bourne, "is that members of industry and environment groups will go to the federal government to say: `There is a patchwork quilt of greenhouse-gas regulations across the country. We cannot deal with the 50 monkeys. We must have one 800-pound gorilla. Please give us a federal mandate.' " Indeed, some environmentalists say this is precisely their strategy.

    States developed their own air toxics pollution programs in the 1980's, which resulted in different regulations and standards across the country. Industry groups, including the American Chemistry Council, eventually lobbied Congress for federal standards, which were incorporated into the 1990 Clean Air Act amendments.

    A number of states are trying to compel the federal government to move sooner rather than later. On Thursday, 12 states, including New York, with its Republican governor, and three cities sued the Environmental Protection Agency for its recent decision not to regulate greenhouse-gas pollutants under the Clean Air Act, a reversal of the agency's previous stance under the Clinton administration.

    "Global warming cannot be solely addressed at the state level," said Tom Reilly, the Massachusetts attorney general. "It's a problem that requires a federal approach."



    Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

  10. #25

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    If you believe that our influence over hurricanes and forest fires is comparable, then yeah, you're right.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by dbhstockton
    So you were just skimming the picture, but you were looking carefully enough to notice that there's slightly more ice in one corner of the image.

    The point is that there's less ice, not where it is. It's a computer-generated image anyway.

    So Australia is closer to Japan? About as close as we are to Argentina.

    You clearly know next to nothing about this topic, other than some propaganda you're ready to spew about doom-and-gloom liberal tax-and-spend tree-hugging environmentalist scientists who are going to destroy America. Spare me.
    Stockton I find your attitude towards me apalling and offensive and I'd appreciate it if you'd cease to talk to me like that. All I pointed out was that for some reason or another a certain part of the globe had an increase in ice. I found that odd. That gives you no right to talk to me as if I am just out to spread propoganda. I clearly know next to nothing? Excuse me for saying so, but I wasn't speaking about this topic in detail. All I did was point out an increase in ice, no harm done. I skimmed the picture quickly, yes. Which is why I mistaked a big island for Australia and a little one for Japan. I should've, obviously, realized that there was no ice cap there. But for some reason I did not realize it. So with that passed, the ice did INCREASE in a certain area. If this change in ice was due to global warming I would just assume there would be NO increase at all. I just pointed out that in the picture ice did increase in some area. Automatically you start typing that I'm out to get liberals. Perhaps there is an error, or maybe there just is more ice there, I don't know. All I did was point it out. But your mocking my mistakes and then turning around to nearly curse me off for being a conservative is nothing less than evil. I expect an apology.

    Btw, Jasonik, I know you are just being sarcastic, but no it's not iceland. Iceland, surprisingly is much warmer than Greenland. It's much smaller too.

    And Zippy, thanks for explaining some more about this. I didn't realize that ice-caps were important to reflect sunlight. At first I only thought their melting was considered a problem because it was an affect of global warming. In other words, I thought so much attention was being paid to them becuase they showed that the earth was getting increasingly warmer. I didn't know that they also serve a useful purpose in cooling the planet by reflecting sunlight. Interesting stuff.

  12. #27

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    I'm sure your interest in pointing out what you saw as an anomaly -- even though you admit you didn't even know what you were looking at -- was purely objective and soley in the interest of detached curiosity.

  13. #28

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    Yes, that is true. I wasn't here for any political agenda. It was completely objective, even though I was confused. I just was curious as to why the ice gained in one place, while decreasing everywhere else. It is obvious global warming is a problem, I wasn't trying to disprove that fact, and it is doing harm to the world. All I was wondering abot was what caused the increase in that location. The decrease in overall ice is alarming, I agree.

  14. #29
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    In the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream carries warm surface water up past Norway. Climate and water temperatures are warmer there than in Alaska even though they are the same latitude because Alaska has no warm current along its coast.

    If the world grows warmer, the ice caps start to melt, and cold fresh water is released into the adjacent ocean. Scientists fear that this would stop the Gulf Stream from coming as far north, so even though temperatures rise globally, they may plummet locally in places in the north Atlantic. That's how ice can build up in some places where it wasn't before (like in that picture) even though there's lots more ice melting everywhere else.

    So global warming doesn't necessarily mean it gets warmer everywhere - Britain and Ireland could become frigid - but it could wreak havoc on the climate, affecting temperatures, rainfall, storm patterns, the list goes on. And sea levels would rise the more the polar ice caps melt. For coastal cities like New York, well, click here.

  15. #30

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    NYatKnight, you must know a lot about this process. Just today I found an article online making what you stated a few months ago seem as a new shocking revelation. It is shocking, though. Look, this is from www.cnn.com:

    (I sure hope this is not why it is so cold in the Northeast right now)

    N. America, Europe to cool as world warms?
    Wednesday, January 21, 2004 Posted: 11:26 AM EST (1626 GMT)

    STOCKHOLM, Sweden (Reuters) -- Parts of Europe and North America could get drastically colder if warming Atlantic ocean currents are halted by a surprise side-effect of global warming, scientists said on Wednesday.

    The possible shut-down of the Gulf Stream is one of several catastrophic changes -- ranging from collapses of fish stocks to more frequent forest fires -- that could be triggered by human activities, they said in a book launched in Sweden.

    "In the worst case it (the Gulf Stream) could shut down... it might even happen this century," said Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "This would trigger a regional cooling, but not an Ice Age."

    Climate models indicated a surge of fresh water into the North Atlantic from a melting of northern glaciers caused by global warming could stop the current that sweeps warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico toward Europe.

    "The Eastern coast of Canada and the United States would also be affected. This is sometimes wrongly perceived as a European problem by American politicians," he told Reuters.

    He said the Gulf Stream had collapsed about 20 times in the past 100,000 years, most recently at the tail of the last Ice Age about 8,000 years ago after an abrupt melting of icecaps.

    If the Gulf Stream stopped, average temperatures might fall by 5-10 Celsius (10-20F) in Scandinavia or by 3-4C in Germany.

    By contrast, global warming, widely blamed on emissions of gases like carbon dioxide from cars and factories, is expected to raise global average temperatures by 1.4-5.8C by 2100.

    The U.N. Kyoto Protocol on limiting global warming hinges on Russia's yes or no. Moscow is undecided and President Vladimir Putin said his country might benefit from warmer world weather, though a halt of Gulf Stream would make northwest Russia colder.

    Rahmstorf's study was included in a new book, "Global Change and the Earth System: a planet under pressure," which looks at the impact of the surge in the human population to six billion people, ranging from stripped forests to rising temperatures.

    "A major finding is that change will not be progressive. There will be abrupt changes and tipping points," said Will Steffen, executive director of the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program which issued the book based on work by 5,000 scientists.

    "Never before have we seen the range of change or the rate of change at the same time," he told Reuters.

    "You can get to a point where forests are too hot and too dry and sudden fires rip through them," he said, referring to blazes last year in nations from Australia to France. "Global warming may make these events more frequent."

    And another report indicated that fish stocks might not recover even if nations ban fishing. Depletion of cod stocks, for instance, lets smaller species flourish and these may prey on the young of any surviving cod and prevent stock recovery.

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