[extropy-chat] Ice cores show warming 'natural' (or not)

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Sat Jan 7 12:33:57 UTC 2006

Warming at the north Pole in particular is very bad news.  The  
thermohaline cycle is something we do not want to slow down and  
certainly not stop.  Sufficient freshwater from melting polar ice is  
one way it could happen.

I am not sure if this works but I could imagine that the distribution  
of CO2 and other greenhouse implicated gases tends to eventually get  
concentrated at the poles.  This or some other explanation could  
perhaps be dredged up from old theories on why the ozone hole was a  
polar phenomenon.  It also may have something to do with a feedback  
cycle due to melting ice causing less solar radiation to be reflect  
back into space and more heating of the newly exposed water.

- samantha

On Jan 6, 2006, at 10:54 PM, spike wrote:

> Damien has posted two interesting articles.  This showed
> up today in the MSM claiming that the warming is happening
> faster at the poles than in the tropics.  This just doesn't
> make sense.  Good news indeed if true, but I don't see
> how it could be.  spike
> http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,180896,00.html
> 2005 Ties for 2nd Warmest Year Ever, But Cause Still Uncertain
> Friday, January 06, 2006
> By Robert Roy Britt
> A new study finds last year tied for the second-warmest year since  
> reliable
> records have been kept starting in the late 1800s.
> The global average temperature in 2005 was 0.54 degrees Fahrenheit  
> (0.3
> Celsius) warmer than the long-term average, tying a mark set in 2002.
> But a puzzling general pattern, seen the past three decades,  
> persisted: The
> most significant warming occurred in the Arctic, where the ice cap is
> shrinking at an alarming pace.
> Seven times faster
> Since November 1978, the Arctic atmosphere has warmed seven times  
> faster
> than the average warming trend over the southern two-thirds of the  
> globe,
> based on data from NOAA satellites.
> "It just doesn't look like global warming is very global," said John
> Christy, director of the Earth System Science Center at the  
> University of
> Alabama in Huntsville.
> The warmest five years since the 1890s, when reliable record- 
> keeping began:
> 1. 1998
> 2. 2005
> 2. 2002 (tie)
> 4. 2003
> 5. 2004
> Scientists agree the planet is warming. Ground in the Northern  
> Hemisphere
> that's been frozen since the last Ice Age is melting and collapsing.
> But they are still debating exactly how much and to what extent  
> humans are
> contributing by burning fossil fuels that create greenhouse gases.
> Lack of understanding
> In a report last May, researchers said they know very little about  
> how Earth
> absorbs and reflects sunlight, crucial factors that control  
> climate. Other
> studies have indicated that increased output from the Sun is  
> responsible for
> more of global warming than was previously realized.
> "Obviously some part of the warming we've observed in the  
> atmosphere over
> the past 27 years is due to enhanced greenhouse gases. Simple  
> physics tells
> you that," Christy said. "But even if you acknowledge the effects of
> greenhouse gases, when you look at this pattern of warming, you  
> have to say
> there must also be something else at work here."
> Nobody's sure what that might be.
> "The carbon dioxide from fossil fuels is distributed pretty evenly  
> around
> the globe and not concentrated in the Arctic, so it doesn't look  
> like we can
> blame greenhouse gases for the overwhelming bulk of the Northern  
> Hemisphere
> warming over the past 27 years," Christy said. "The most likely  
> suspect for
> that is a natural climate change or cycle that we didn't expect or  
> just
> don't understand."
> Opposite of expectations
> Over the past 27 years, since the first temperature-sensing  
> satellite was
> launched, the overall global temperature has risen 0.63 degrees  
> Fahrenheit,
> while the hike in the Arctic has been 2.1 degrees.
> "The computer models consistently predict that global warming due to
> increasing greenhouse gases should show up as strong warming in the
> tropics," Christy said.
> Yet the tropical atmosphere has warmed by only about 0.3 degrees  
> Fahrenheit
> in 27 years.
> A study last year examined natural climate change going back more  
> than 1,000
> years. How do the recent changes stack up?
> "It would be fairly rare to have this much warming all from natural  
> causes,
> but it has happened [in the past]," Christy said. "What we've seen  
> isn't
> outside the realm of natural climate change."
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