Greenland – The Poster Child for Global Warming

A LOT has been made of Greenland’s ice melting.  I mean, a LOT.  National Geographic ran an in-depth article about just how bad man has destroyed Greenland just about a year ago.  Some snippets to give you an idea just how bad it is.  The headline itself starts you off:

Global Warming: Greenland: When It’s Hot

And they don’t slow down from there:

Since Steffen established Swiss Camp 16 years ago, much has changed. Global warming has evolved from an obscure concern of environmentalists to a headline-grabbing motion picture–inspiring crisis of staggering proportions. Due to something called the polar amplification effect, Greenland is heating up at an exponential rate and has become a kind of barometer for the rest of the planet. What happens here in the next ten years will answer key questions about how much the Earth will warm in the next hundred. That is why there were more scientists out on the ice this year than ever before—the United States’ National Science Foundation alone helped fund 144 researchers, three times as many as in 2000. They’re all scrambling to track the tremendous changes while working against the narrowing window between winter storms and a melt season that turns the cap into a slush field mined with scientist-swallowing crevasses.

Things are so bad in Greenland that people like Robert Roy Britt of Livescience use it as the ultimate justifcation of how stupid people are who question how much we actually know about what is going on.  He has no doubt whatsoever that the warming permafrost in Greenland is all man’s fault.

Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth cites Greenland as a prime example of what’s going on.  A lot of people just jumped on his bandwagon.  Greenland was the poster boy for everything from the warming of ocean currents to polar bears’ shinking nuts.

Only one problem tho.  It is now becoming evident, THROUGH SCIENCE, that the warming of Greenland may have nothing to do with man at all:

The newly discovered hotspot, an area where Earth’s crust is thinner, allowing hot magma from Earth’s mantle to come closer to the surface, is just below the ice sheet and could have caused it to form, von Frese and his team suggest.

“Where the crust is thicker, things are cooler, and where it’s thinner, things are warmer,” von Frese explained. “And under a big place like Greenland or Antarctica, natural variations in the crust will makes some parts of the ice sheet warmer than others.”

What caused the hotspot to suddenly form is another mystery.

“It could be that there’s a volcano down there,” he said, “but we think it’s probably just the way the heat is being distributed by the rock topography at the base of the ice.”

That article in Livescience was not written by Robert Roy Britt.  Apparently he doesn’t read the articles that don’t support is opinion.  I doubt you’ll hear any sigh of relief from Al Gore’s bunch either.

Now, at the risk of being insulted and taunted, I again will ask the same question I’ve always asked.  How much of the climate change in Greenland is actually man’s fault?  Apparently quite a bit of the fault lies with Earth.

Live Science disses global warming?

Live Science is a spinoff of Space.com.  When they started it up, Space.com asked me to give it a try, so I did.  However, I soon became somewhat disenchanted with it as they seemed to have a strong pro-man-is-the-only-cause-of-global-warming attitude.  It got tiresome to read.  In fact, I had almost quit reading it entirely when, to my surprise, I read this today:

PHOENIX – The Southwest has been gripped by a deadly heat wave that might seem extraordinary to newcomers, those with short memories, or anyone who pays too much attention to the media.

“This has gone on a little too long,” 41-year-old Arizona native Joe Della Rocca told the Associated Press.

Records seemed to melt across the region this week. A new high for the date was set Monday in Las Vegas: 116 degrees. In Phoenix, where eight deaths have been blamed on the heat, the mercury hit 116 Sunday, eclipsing the date’s previous record of 114 set in 1936. Normal for this time of year is 107.

“This is the deadliest heat wave that I can remember,” the assistant fire chief here said.

In Bullhead City, Arizona, the thermometer climbed to 124 on Sunday. The owner of the local Baskin Robbins claimed the heat melted a scoop of ice cream in eight seconds.

Death Valley topped out at 128 degrees Monday, a level not reached for many decades. A similar high was expected Tuesday.

You get the point. It’s hot. But it is summer.

“It is typical to have extreme temperatures this time of year,” said Anton Haffer, the National Weather Service’s chief meteorologist for Phoenix.

Haffer said in a telephone interview that in 15 years of forecasting here, he doesn’t recall a summer when new record highs weren’t set. There’s a good reason why: Reliable records for U.S. weather data go back only to 1895. Many dots remain to be placed under the bell curve of this country’s temperatures……

AND….

Haffer said that over the past few years, overnight lows in this sprawling metropolis have been climbing. This time of year, the coolest part of the early morning is sometimes still in the 90s.

The warmer mornings are due largely to the urban heat island effect, in which streets and buildings absorb more of the Sun’s energy than would the natural landscape, and that heat is radiated back into the air all night long.

Wow.  An article that acknowledges man’s lack of historical data AND urban heat.  They are also quick to point out that Phoenix did not break it’s record high, and the nation didn’t either.

It’s hot, for sure.  But, it’s the desert.  It’s supposed to be hot.  That’s not the fault of man, and, it’s yet to be proven that it’s not part of nature.

21st Century Power Sources

Livescience.com ran an interesting series on future energy supplies.  They take pains to point out the pros and cons of each, but I am a little lost in their logic.  Let’s just jump into the list and I’ll explain at the end.

#10 – Solar.  I have no issue with this one.  As they point out, it is being developed to the point of having some commercial viability.  Its startup expense and relatively limited output in regards to expense detract from its appeal.

#9 – Coal:  I really don’t consider this a 21st century option.  It’s a 18th century option still having use.  It can be burned more efficiently and cleaner, but that’s the only difference.

#8 – Wind:  This is the most over-hyped alternative presented.  Sure, there’s wind everywhere, but it’s unpredictable and the output extremely limited.  In comparison to other options, it’s not much to shoot for.

#7 – Petroleum:  Once again,  I really don’t see this as a 21st century energy supply.  It’s a 20th century resource that is being spent rapidly.  There are scenarios that expand and prolong the viability of petroleum, but burning fossil fuels won’t sustain human society.

#6 – Biomass: Now we’re talking.  My gripe with burning fossil fuels is by the very nature of burning something fossilized, you’re implying its limited supply.  Looking at things that are replenishable is where we need to be heading.  Biomass ( poop ), will always be with us.  Let’s figure a way to use it.

#5 – Hydroelectricty:   This sounds good, but is very limited.  Man just can’t destroy enough of the Earth’s environment to make hydro viable.

#4 – Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion:  The efficiency of these things is mind bogglingly low.  I just don’t see this as ever being feasible to generate huge amounts of energy.  Ever.  I can see them supporting underwater developments, but that’s about it.

#3 – Nuclear:  Now we’re talking.  However, they quickly dismiss the 21st century possibilities and go flying off on a bizarre tangent of sonoluminescence. Let’s just figure out how fusion works first and put it to use.  Nuclear is the only new alternative that carries the potential of generating enough power to drive mankind into the next century.

Now this is where they start getting weird on me.

#2 – Fuel Cells:  What provides the energy to make a fuel cell work?  Fuel cells in themselves are not an energy source.  I don’t get their logic here at all.

And, now, their conclusion as to the #1 energy source of the 21st century: ( Drum roll please )

Antimatter.

Yup.  Antimatter.

They then proceed to not list any viable use for antimatter and list quite a few significant barriers such as the fact there is very little of it in the entire universe.  You have to create usable antimatter.  According to them the fact it’s used in the process of PET scans makes it viable.

I went through the entire list and finished at #1.  I just had to go “whew” when I saw that.   How in the hell did they come up with that?  Why bother with this list?  I mean, they cite Star Trek as an example of antimatter, that’s the 24th century!  Let’s figure how to make it through the 21st first.  OK?

Sheez.