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A New Low For Arctic Ice

This summer, the Arctic ice cap shrank—melted– to an all-time tiny size. Half what it was in 1980.  The planet is changing. We explore.

This image made available by NASA shows the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, at center in white, and the 1979 to 2000 average extent for the day shown, with the yellow line. (AP /U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center)

This image made available by NASA shows the amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic on Sunday, Sept. 16, 2012, at center in white, and the 1979 to 2000 average extent for the day shown, with the yellow line. (AP /U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center)

Guests

David Robinson, climatologist and professor in the department of geography at Rutgers University.

Walt Meier, research scientist at the National Snow & Ice Data Center, which has been measuring the Arctic sea ice cover since 1979.

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times ”The apparent low point for 2012 was reached Sunday, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center, which said that sea ice that day covered about 1.32 million square miles, or 24 percent, of the surface of the Arctic Ocean. The previous low, set in 2007, was 29 percent.”

Scientific American  “That difference between the previous record and this year’s is larger than the entire state of California, and almost as large as the state of Texas.  An ice-free summer in the Arctic, once projected to be more than a century away, now looks possible decades from now. Some say that it looks likely in just the next few years.”

Links

Greenpeace’s Arctic Sunrise ship uploads a new image every minute. Here it’s at anchor in Longyearbyen, Norway.

Video

 

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  • Michiganjf

    What, is this a problem?

    Like Romney/Ryan, let’s just make jokes about how dumb Democrats want to “begin to slow the rise of the oceans” and to “heal the planet.”

    I guess Romney thinks he can afford a ticket off the planet whenever it’s finally uninhabitable… yeah, that seems about right, all the way around.

    • LinRP

      This is why it is so effective to to ban “critical thinking” from curricula, and to work to keep the population uneducated (stupid, really). Not only can so few understand the science of what you say, they, sadly, do not have the cognitive development to understand the very real connections between things like phytoplankton and the air they breathe. When you can’t think critically, are un- or under-educated, have no grounding in science, then what else can you believe but black-and-white bromides like James Inhofe’s “God’s still up there” and all will be well?

  • NewtonWhale

    The American Taliban and its War on Science will destroy the planet.

    James Inhofe Says the Bible Refutes Climate Change

    Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) appeared on Voice of Christian Youth America’s radio program Crosstalk with Vic Eliason yesterday to promote his new book The Greatest Hoax: How the Global Warming Conspiracy Threatens Your Future, where he repeated his frequent claim that human influenced climate change is impossible because “God’s still up there.”  

    Eliason: Senator, we’re going to talk about your book for a minute, you state in your book which by the way is called The Greatest Hoax, you state in your book that one of your favoriteBible verses, Genesis 8:22, ‘while the earth remaineth seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease,’ what is the significance of these verses to this issue?Inhofe: Well actually the Genesis 8:22 that I use in there is that ‘as long as the earth remains there will be seed time and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night,’ my point is, God’s still up there. The arrogance of people to think that we, human beings, would be able to change what He is doing in the climate is to me outrageous. 

    http://www.rightwingwatch.org/content/james-inhofe-says-bible-refutes-climate-change 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKd6UJPghUs 

    • LinRP

       God help us.

    • Mouse_2012

      Sad

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       James Inhofe doesn’t believe in global warming.

      He thinks that the droughts, fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and all other extreme weather events is just God saying to America: F$ck You.

      • Don_B1

        People who think that way often get their comeuppance in a most unpalatable way.

        Too bad the Inhofe probably wouldn’t subject himself to a test on his apparent belief in himself and the Bible: he could jump into the middle of the ocean and see if he could walk on water to the land without any human help. That is equivalent to what climate change deniers are claiming, and what science says can’t happen.

    • gonkers

      Inhofe is a classic example of a self-sabotaged intellect.

  • ToyYoda

    I read a science article which examined ice cores to study climate change over thousands of years of Earth’s history.  What was surprising about the article was that global climate is relatively stable, but once a shift happens, it occurs in less than 100 years.  That’s instantaneous time at geological scales.

    That means, if the Earth’s climate is shifting (as opposed to being perturbed), there will be plenty of people who will have lived through the transition and have memories for each; not unlike the mythological tales of people who lived through the catastrophic/biblical floods.  Except this time, we’ll have phone cameras.

    I often wondered how that shift would look.  I don’t think we’ve really thought hard enough on how it would look at a tangible level, and how we would react at an anthropological scale.  We often think Platonically with definite borders and clear transitions.  Meaning when global climate change happens, then we think ‘presto’ it’s here.  And millions of people will suddenlty drown from the ‘teleported water’.

    I think Mother Nature already has given us her preview.  It will be much like the pan handle of Florida earlier this year.  Severe storms will occur more often, and as the ocean rises, it will take less strength from storms to cause the same amount of flooding.  People in districts where flooding due to weather will eventually migrate out of those areas, since they will grow tired of the catastrophes and insurance will not cover for flood damages (in some places, you can’t get flood insurance anymore)

    Those areas will be vacant and eventually, frequent flooding  will take longer to drain from an area, and eventually it will be constant tides.  And a generation from now elders who migrate to higher lands will talk about ‘when I was your age…’

    Repeat this a thousand times, and I think that’s how it will happen.

    • RolloMartins

      Ridiculous. 

      • ToyYoda

        Could you please tell me what’s so ridiculous about my post?

    • TinaWrites

      But don’t forget that those “elders” may not be allowed to stay in the higher lands to which they’ve migrated.  That is, the migrations will cause major socio-economic destabilization.  This will be especially true in the low-lying regions of southeast asia, like Bangaladesh,  where the seaward peoples and the more inland peoples are already amongst the poorest in the world.  

      • Don_B1

        While it will take more melting than just Greenland (the melting Arctic Ocean ice cover does not raise sea levels, but Greenland is covered by frozen water equivalent to the water in the Caribbean Ocean, which is sitting above the current sea level), as much as 20% of China (area south of Beijing) will be flooded by the sea level rise when enough of the Antarctic melts.

        Currently, because the water vapor level is rising throughout the world (over the oceans, it is currently 4% higher than in 1970) there is more water vapor over Antarctica to form snow which is falling there. But the southern ocean around Antarctica is warming, and seeping under the Antarctic ice, breaking up the ice and causing the ice dams that are significant holders of the land ice to degrade. The exact mechanisms of how the Antarctic ice sheet is held in place are not known, but if that ice does start moving to the sea, the oceans will rise 200 feet when it is gone.Remember, at one time, most of the midwest in the U.S. was a shallow sea.

        But the BIG story here is how much faster the effects of global warming are being seen compared to most predictions from models (that the deniers have denigrated as overly aggressive in predicting more than will happen).

        • TinaWrites

          Thanks for this excellent description!  I’ve already put it into my permanent science file! 

          • TinaWrites

            I am confused, tho.  Disqus sent me an email with your posting as if you were replying to my comment directly.  Now that I’m here on the comments page, however, it seems like your comment is not a reply to anyone’s post, but an independent post.  I’m pretty new to posting thru Disqus (I used to post As A Guest), so does Disqus get confused sometimes?  The answer can come from anyone, or maybe from the webmaster…..

          • gonkers

            Disqus is both buggy and at times terribly slow. WBUR should dump it for some more reliable forum software.  

  • Yar

    Polls, polarization, polar ice caps, God and Science. 1 gram, 1 cubic centimeter; 1 calorie, 1 degree; Ice to liquid 85; liquid to gas 540; Gas moves a car; cars drive the weather;  oceans affects the wind; wind moves the oceans; We will not be moved; we are blown away.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    What does God and faith have to do with global climate change? Rising oceans, changing weather patterns – drought, wild fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and floods. Why does scientific concern about factors increasing the probability of death and destruction challenge anyone’s faith? Would these folks ignore a tornado warning? Would they go to the beach during a hurricane? Why in God’s name do they get upset about science warning them of a threat?

    Making things far worse are the politicians who do understand some of the science and the threats but choose to fan the flames of fear and ignorance for their personal benefit. Does God have a special place set aside for these ‘leaders’? We can only hope.

    • sickofthechit

       Dante’s ninth circle.

    • Don_B1

      Many of the deniers study the science of climate change in depth and breath more than most people, but use that knowledge to find aspects that they can use to confuse the scientifically illiterate for the ends of their ideology or greed or some mixture of both.

      1) The ideology-driven people are enthralled with “small government, and since the solution to climate change is action by the government since everyone must act in unison to make the necessary changes. What they do not look forward to see is that by not acting now the government will have to be much more intrusive later when the extra effects that have and will occur are much harder and expensive to mitigate. The IEA has estimated that for every $1 not spent to mitigate CO2 emissions before 2020 it will cost $4.30 to achieve the same effect AFTER 2020.

      2) The greed-driven people are in the fossil fuel industry which sees some $1-2 (or more) trillion of fossil fuels which they can extract and sell to generate those $650 million retirement pay packages (ExxonMobil’s recent CEO). The problem is that the world will be in chaos well before all that energy can be extracted, even if the people did not change things well before then as they saw their lives’ quality degrade beyond today’s concepts.

      Note that it will take $7/gallon and up prices (today’s dollars) for gasoline  to allow tar sands oil to make a profit for the current extractors and just the extraction is a hugely polluting process, as the newspapers in Canada (in the U.S., much less so) are reporting:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/16/852011/jaw-dropping-shell-filings-undercut-tar-sands-industry-rhetoric-on-pollution/

    • gonkers

       

      The Orwellian Right… including corporate
      propagandists, know how to manipulate low-information people better than they
      know how to protect themselves. If these propagandists can sell a ridiculous,
      but PLAUSIBLE, narrative such as environmental wackos want to deprive us of a
      high standard of living, then low-information people will then manipulate
      reality to fit that expectation… and in the process they inoculate themselves
      from counter arguments. They’ll then live in a self-justifying world instead of
      self-correcting one.

  • Gregg Smith

    I was really hoping this morning’s show would be on the massive pro-American rallies in Libya. I have no use for this silly discussion.

    http://www.salon.com/2012/09/13/pro_american_libyan_rally/

    • Don_B1

      Exactly: you have no argument against government action to mitigate CO2 emissions that is not patently false and probably know it.

    • jefe68

      Funny, I was thinking the same thing about your silly comments, which are pretty useless.

      Here’s the thing Gregg, it’s not all about you, if you don’t like the show don’t listen.

      • Gregg Smith

        I won’t be at 7PM, I have to wash my hair. 

    • gonkers

      Surely you know how NOT to post to a forum that doesn’t interest you, right?

      Or am I giving you too much credit?

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    I’m not a denier. But I do question when journalists, scientists, politicians, activists start claiming to know the degree to which human acitivity is responsible, in relation to underlying natural cycles of warming and cooling. You can say we are contributing, but don’t tell me we are responsible. There simply isn’t enough data going back far enough to make any conclusions.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       You’re a denier.

    • William

      I always thought the Sun has much more of a influence on global warming than mankind.

      • gonkers

        Gee, thanks for reassuring us if we’re not responsible for climate change, we’re then magically out of the woods and don’t have to do anything as the world changes around us.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          For future reference, when William says “I always thought”, it means he’s pulling lies out his nether region: Equal parts polite and pretend innocently asking-cum-knowing ignorance.

          It’s a variant of JAQing off (Just Asking Questions), and is called such for a reason.

          • William

             Do you get a new Obama phone on demand or do you have to wait till the new phones come out?

        • William

          Thank you for such a well thought out response to a interesting aspect of the power of the Sun. I seldom find much of what you post worth reading but this post from you is something that Tom should have discussed at much length.

          • gonkers

            You evaded my question. So we’re off the hook if it’s proven humans have nothing to do with climate change?

          • William

             Yes we are off the hook. This issue is all about control and money. I don’t trust the messenger because they have proven themselves untrustworthy. 

          • gonkers

            So by your “logic”, such as it is… we might have all the dire consequences attributed to man-driven climate changes, but if they’re caused naturally, we’re off the hook?

      • gonkers

         

        The main driver of climate will ALWAYS be the
        sun. That’s not in question. The question is whether greenhouse gases can, on
        the margins, cause enough heat retention to budge the climate system towards
        warming.

         

    • RolloMartins

      You’re a denier. There is so much info out there–I found it, so you can to–so much science that you have to be actively dismissing it to come to your conclusion of skepticism. The “natural cycle” argument is so transparent and easily refuted. No, I’m not going to even give you a link: they’re out there. Look for yourself. Educate yourself. 

    • sickofthechit

      They are pushed to speculate on the degree because doubters/deniers are fighting them at every turn.  How about if we agree not to blame you personally?  Is that acceptable?  We can control or limit how much we contribute. We can not control factors outside of our control.  Therefore it is our responsibility to act accordingly.  Were you not around in the 1960′s and 1970′s when pollution was so bad a Republican President actually passed a Clean Water and Air Act?  Most of the Republicans and business owners fought and screamed the whole way.  I shudder to think where we would be without those protections.

    • gonkers

      So say mankind is NOT in the least responsible for climate change. Are you saying we don’t have to do anything if the drivers of climate change are all natural?

      I think not.

    • Don_B1

      And just how do you know that? If it were true that we didn’t know enough, how would we know that? Are you mining Donald Rumsfeld here?

      The basic science of atmospheric warming above what would be expected of an inert (wrt absorption/emission of electromagnetic energy) gas atmosphere, was first described by John Tyndall in the 1840s and refined to rough equations by Svante Arrhenius in the late 1800s and early 1900s. A rough timeline is given here:

      http://yellowairplane.com/Global_Warming/10-The_History_of_Global_Warming_Timeline.html

      For details of why scientists have great confidence in the projections of their studies, read Skeptical Science at:

      http://www.skepticalscience.com

      which explains answers to just about any question you might ask (it does have to be scientific) at one of three levels: beginner, general scientific literate, and strong scientific understanding (I don’t think these are the terms they use, but they will do).

      Other links to informative sites where the real science and its progress are provided there (one for the scientifically literate is Real Climate).

      Please take the time to educate yourself about what the facts really are, not just what the deniers are trying to get you to believe they are.

    • Outside_of_the_Box

      Thanks to Tom and Crew for including my comment in your show today!
      I was driving along, turned on the radio, and there it was:
      at 32:19 mins

      • Outside_of_the_Box

        Just to clarify, I am all in favor of cleaning up the planet. My issue is with assertions that we are primarily responsible for global warming. See above for original comment.

  • Outside_of_the_Box

    To clarify, I’m not saying we shouldn’t do everything possible to help. Only that I question the narrative.

  • sickofthechit

    Register, double-check your registration, get your friends and family to do the same, help transport voters to the polls.  Then on November 6th turn out in record numbers to defeat Republican Politicians (Repugnicans) and give Obama a true “Super Majority” and we may just be able to begin to heal the planet and slow the rise of the waters.  A vote for the republican candidate straight out of the 1950′s is a vote against mankind.

    Remember,
    “They may have all the money, but we have all the votes”  Charles A. Bowsher

    • Gregg Smith

      Don’t forget, election day is on Wednesday this cycle.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

         Liar.

        Tuesday as usual.

        November 6

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          The funny thing is there is a long history of GOP posters going up in black neighborhoods telling residents to vote on “Thursday, November X”.

          And Greggg will say, with his last breath, that that’s not racist.

          • Gregg Smith

            What’s racist is the notion blacks are so stupid by default that they would fall for it, but evidently you believe it. Poor stupid black victims. It’s sick.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

             Primaries are sometimes not on Tuesdays. So you are trying to make people go on the wrong day with your disinformation.

          • Gregg Smith

            How stupid must one be to not know the election is on Tuesday? If there are any then they are too stupid to be allowed to vote. I cannot believe your are serious. It was a joke, lighten up.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

             You are the idiot. Elections are NOT ALWAYS held on Tuesdays as I have just stated.

          • Gregg Smith

            Presidential elections? I must be dreaming, no one thinks people are that stupid in real life.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

             Anything is possible in this world. And why dshould first time votes know the tradition in the US is Tuesday?

            Again,you are the idiot.

          • Gregg Smith

            up.

          • Gregg Smith

            I’ll stipulate I’m an idiot, fine. A first time voter would have learned basic civics in elementary school. Or an immigrant would learn it as part of becoming a citizen. Are you talking about the illegals who vote? Probably.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            Okay, let’s you and them (racist right-wingers) fight. You’re not a racist, hardly any Teabagger is (to hear you tell it).

            I’m not gonna be the bone in a dog fight. Get yourself to FoxNation and RedState and TheCorner and tell your fellow Teabaggers that all those posters represent a bad play which makes them look like goobers, hicks, idiots, white trash and racists. I mean there are weeks left this year; plenty of time to convince your crowd to not do that again this year.

            Otherwise all this observant outsider will conclude is that the Teabaggers’ racists are in charge.

          • Gregg Smith

            Sick, sick, sick.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            They’re your allies, bub.

          • Gregg Smith

            You invented them. How can they be my allies?

        • Gregg Smith

          Lighten up.

          • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

            From someone who’s overreacted to all the fantasy-based crap the RW puke funnel forces down your throat about Obama, telling someone else to “lighten up” is unspeakably hilarious.

          • DrewInGeorgia

            No one forces anything down his throat, he gobbles it up gleefully.

          • Gregg Smith

            Nasty, ad hominem, irrelevant and typical of the left.

          • gonkers

            Yup… just the left.

            Gregg wrote on 10-30-11

            “You’re an idiot who constantly needs to puff up your ego…

            You’re a first class jerk to boot.”

            Your humble retraction is noted even if not offered.

          • Gregg Smith

            Your creepy Gregg file again. I feel quite confident that comment was not out of the blue and a response  to something very nasty. I don’t typically start fights but i will return a punch. So look up what I was responding to and post it. Jerk.

          • gonkers

            Retraction noted!

          • gonkers

            For the record, that response was to my demolishing your claim the economy was “in freefall” when Bush took office.

      • sickofthechit

         For you!

      • Don_B1

        It is amazing how this type of obvious lie is continually promulgated by Republicans. It should be taken for what it is: just the most obvious lie in a flood of lies that just keep coming. It takes a lot of parsing to find ANY truthful statement coming from their utterances or writings. The one exception is when you can catch them talking to themselves, such as when Romney took questions at his fundraiser in Boca Raton, FL, and told lies showing his total ignorance about how the country lives, insulting soldiers, retirees and the disabled (just for starters) as moochers for accepting government help, much of it earned, instead of “taking responsibility for their lives.”

        • Gregg Smith

          I am flabbergasted at the low regard you and others have for the American public. I will note you did not interject race as TF did. I appreciate that. His equating gullible stupidity with blacks is disturbing. And he did it out of nowhere, he must believe it. 

      • LinRP

        If you can’t see why that is so not funny coming from you, then it truly is hopeless.

  • William Blake

    As usual, half the story. Why is the other polar cap increasing in thickness? In regards to Super Majority, how uninformed can you get? Obama had complete control for the first two years of his administration. Any perceived failure on his part he owns, completely. In respect to money, democrats have plenty. Rich democrats love Obama. Finally, heal the planet? Really? You really believe Obama is The One, don’t you? That’s truly pathetic. 

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       Because the Antarctic has been too cold for snow.

      It is warming up and therefor more snow that turns to ice.

      Even a 5th grader knows this.

      • Don_B1

        @google-6c5072fe4412c66d31e0cb33f18d0abc:disqus 
        Just a bit more scientific detail to support Greg’s response:

        The Antarctic has the driest air anywhere on earth (effectively a desert) because cold air cannot hold much water vapor, which is why winter snow storms do not have much water in them, compared to summer rain storms. But with global warming, the air holds more water, specifically over the ocean the water vapor is now 4% more than it was in 1970 because of the 1.5°F warming.

        In the same way, the air over Antarctica is warming, so more snow falls there now. It is the same reason that some glaciers, those above the altitude below which increased summer melting exceeds the snow fall, are locally “growing.” This altitude point is getting higher with each year of warming.

        Have you read any of the responses I have made to such deceptive and false comments about Obama’s “control of the Senate”?

        While I am sure it will be repeated many more times, let’s hope that repeated debunkings will carry the day:

        The Democrats did not have 60 votes until 7 July 2009 when Al Franken was sworn in after a protracted vote count battle and lost that number when Scott Brown was sworn in on 4 February 2010. But in between, the Democrats had many “Blue Dogs” who supported filibusters against a number of healthcare reform provisions (single payer, public option, etc.) and other parts of Obama’s attempts at slowing CO2 emissions and even promoting job growth (another stimulus bill was a nonstarter, as was any amount larger than the $787 billion dollars in the ARRA — see Michael Grunwald’s book, “The New New Deal”).

        Just get over this “talking point!”

    • DrewInGeorgia

      The thing that is truly pathetic is your comment.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      LoserNormColeman would disagree about your “complete control” idea.

    • RolloMartins

      But it isn’t. Yes, sea ice has been shown to lately increase. But it is *land* ice that is important to rising sea levels. Sea ice rising is related to ozone and increased fresh water mixing. But land ice has been shown to be decreasing in the Antarctic, and at an accelerating rate. Thus climate change is happening everywhere, but you curiously do not look at the bigger picture. 

    • jefe68

      Are you listening to this show? The Arctic is sea ice and it’s surrounded by land masses while the Antarctic is a huge land mass surrounded by water. the very nature of this difference is pretty obvious. Is it not?

      It’s amazing how you folks who deny that there is global warming will use any excuse to back up your flat earth mentality. You know what’s pathetic, your comment.

  • Shag_Wevera

    There is nothing that can happen that will convince some folks of global warming/climate change, and man’s role in it.  These same types of people believe the president is a muslim who was born in Indonesia and is a Manchurian candidate bent on turning this country into a communist/socialist gulag.

    Never argue with a fool…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      We can only hope the human race will become smarter (ie the stupids will perish first) as the thinning out of the population begins in earnest with global warming.

    • gonkers

      More to the point, how do the thought processes of such people innoculate them to reality? Those that seek to mold and manipulate human thought obviously have a better handbook to the human mind than those they manipulate.

  • Michiganjf

    A truly frightening thought is, if at one pole, why not the other… and also far more rapidly than anyone previously thought?

    What would THAT do to the climate and sea level?

    EGAD!

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       Michiganjf, note in the video above how the ice on Greenland doesn’t change–as much, at least–as does the sea ice.

      • gonkers

        There is another obvious variable here, even if you missed it: ice THICKNESS. Data on this is unclear.

        • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

           Correct–the ice on Antarctica is miles thick.

      • Don_B1

        The ice mass on Greenland IS decreasing but less because less is exposed to the warming air and little is exposed underneath to warming water, and there are observations showing just that, but they are reductions in thickness as well as shrinkage at the edges.

    • RolloMartins

      The Antarctic is melting too, and accelerating. Not as fast as the Arctic (due to ozone levels and fresh water mixing). But land ice (don’t let anyone quote the sea ice levels which can rise…it is *land ice* which is important to sea levels) is decreasing in the Antarctic too.

    • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

      The quality of Ice in the Antarctic is changing and it’s volume is not increasing. Just look at what happened when a chunk of ice the size of Rhode Island broke up almost overnight. When someone speaks of more ice cover in the Antarctic, they are confusing area with volume, and volume and thus ice mass is not increasing down there.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    Do the sedimentary records give us any clues about historic lows in the distant past? Do we even have much data given the inaccessibility of much of the area most of the year?

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Dang Disqus, this is to Michiganjf:

     The mass of ice over the southern region is much larger, and it’s primarily on land, not floating on water.

    • Michiganjf

      Yes, but why would that mean it couldn’t melt far more rapidly than anyone previuosly thought?

      Did anyone think the permafrost would disappear as rapidly as it has?  That’s also on land.

      • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

         Yes, it can melt more rapidly than perhaps we’ve thought, but on land it’ll go slower than at sea.

    • gonkers

      WBUR should dump Disqus. It’s too buggy and often slows to a snail’s pace.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

    The iced poles are the earth’s AC.

    We are in for a world of hell as the planet heats up.
     

    • Don_B1

      The changes in U.S., European and Russian weather patterns are changing because the upper level jet stream at the Arctic Circle latitude that provides a barrier between Arctic air masses and lower latitude air masses is degrading, which climatologists predict will mean slower moving storms, so that snow accumulations from storms will be bigger in the future (also because of the increased water vapor in the air).

      That is only one aspect of climate change that will become more apparent as the years go by.

  • Michiganjf

    Maybe it’s time climate scientists stop thinking skeptically and start thinking realistically, especially in terms of how models consistently prove to be far too conservative!

    Stop fearing the wrath of the scientifically ignorant Right!

    … oh yeah, I forgot… they’ll see to it that ALL research funding is pulled if you don’t condescend to their ignorance and political interest.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

    To the guests: Is the “open refrigerator door” idea of any merit?

    • gonkers

      Not following. In the case of an open refrigerator door, cold air comes out the front, and the heat extracted from that air, plus the heat from the refrigerator components come out the back. There’s a net gain in overall heat.

      • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

        Yeah, I could have described that more thoroughly.

        As my cat realizes, refrigerator compressors and such create heat. But the “open door’ idea really doesn’t have a closed system thing going on; it doesn’t imagine a whole refrigerator operating in a small room. It doesn’t even have to be a refrigerator. It could even be that we’re talking about an icebox.

        It just imagines external actions disturbing a finite source of regeneratable cold as a way to consider how the Arctic can be getting warmer while the sub-Arctic is not.

        It’s only about the immediate area below, say, the freezer door. That door is opened, temp goes up in the freezer and disaster ensues (my ice cream melts). But a foot away from that door (think the sub-Arctic of Russia, Scandanavia, Canada), it gets colder.

        Of course, if the door is left open long enough, all the cold is dispersed, and the ice melts or the freezer burns out. And chaos ensues.

  • MadMarkTheCodeWarrior

    If I recall correctly, geologic records have indicated that climate shifts have not typically occurred gradually of a century, rather they have occurred in roughly three very rapid shocks within a century or so: the shocks individually taking 10 or 15 years with some time in between the shocks. So is this the first or the second of such shocks? What is the climate community thinking in this regard?

  • John_in_Amherst

    Some of the last bills acted on by the House included one that rebuked the EPA’s stance that global warming is a crisis and caused by human activities, and another, the “Stop the War on Coal Act” which blocks the regulation of emissions related to coal usage.  Both were GOP sponsored and passed largely on party line votes.  
    Why does the GOP seem to insist that the only relevant application of scientific inquiry is the development of weapons and consumer goods?  In all other matters – health, environment, basic research into evolution, biology, etc., the cult of science denial in the GOP and its media surrogates like FOX and the WSJ is not just eroding debate of the issues, it is jeopardizing our competitiveness in the global economy now, and saddling future generations of humanity with a world made irrevocably less hospitable by our short-sited actions. 

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Svalbard, including Spitzbergen, is north of Norway.

  • TinaWrites

    Does it get cold enough in Winter for NEW ICE TO RE-FORM?  Is it thick enough if it does re-form?

    • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

       It’s a two steps back and one step forward situation.  The refreezing isn’t enough to replace what’s lost.

      • TinaWrites

        Thank you!

    • Don_B1

      Because the dark water gets warmer with increasing summer melting, not as much new ice is formed and is thinner. The old ice is disappearing with a resulting “death spiral”:

      See:

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/20/885601/earths-attic-is-on-fire-arctic-sea-ice-bottoms-out-at-new-record-low/

      for this year’s minimum compared with the average of previous years. See

      http://thinkprogress.org/climate/2012/09/19/872121/arctic-death-spiral-new-local-shipping-and-drilling-pollution-may-speed-up-polar-warming-and-ice-melting/

      for an x-y (area versus time) plot of ice extent versus month of year. To see it on a polar graph (where the distance from the origin, the zero point, is the area of ice at the time of the year plotted as the clockwise angle from the vertical, starting at Jan 1 of each year).

      But use the blog’s search function for “Arctic ice area death spiral” to see the list of posts on this subject.

      Also visit Skeptical Science, at

      http://www.skepticalscience.com

      for more detailed explanations.

      • TinaWrites

        Thanks for all this info!  One question, and thanking you in advance, ‘cuz I’ve got to go do other things…. I wonder if the skeptical science.com site is a global warming denial site?  You can see from the comments on this page, that it’s easy to read  scientific mis-information (whether the mis-info was itself created thru innocent typo; thru innocent passing along of mis-info; or thru intentional, political ploy to disarm potential opponents), and not recognize it as such if one is not a scientist.  I was fascinated by the study of water in a basic college chemistry class:  I remember some of these issues:  the H+ acidity and the O2 alkalinity; the “stickiness” of water — which I can imagine is important on this topic because of what happens underneath the sheets of ice as they flow; weight; density; the three forms, etc., etc.  But by now, I only really remember being entranced with the subject.  At the time (1994), I could have given a little mini-lecture on what I knew, but that was then, and now I’ve forgotten enough to be dangerous because a topic can be discussed in a way that sounds plausible, but which is “on backwards” for whatever reason.  (I DO think this is how the great political strategists works:  they flatter people by talking to them in terms that sound like the people are qualified to engage in such an important discussion, then the politician sets up a false syllogism that’s hard to detect, and suddenly all the facts that WERE true in the start of the talk, are followed by falsehoods and wrong conclusions to which people are now devoted, because they felt so engaged with the initial part of the talk and were so personally proud that they were so knowledgable.  Paul Ryan works like this a lot. Thanks, again!  I won’t write back to thank you again ‘cuz I’m saying it now!

        • Don_B1

          The Skeptical Science website is definitely NOT a denier site. It was founded by a physicist in Australia to hold up to the world what REAL science is: the quest for real data and interpretations of that data that give good predictions of the outcomes of experiments which give vindication to those interpretations. The scientist is ALWAYS “skeptical” in that there must be an openness to new data which does not in some way fit the existing interpretation, which then must be modified in some to accommodate that new data. Thus Newton’s Laws, which are still useful in the extreme for normal world calculations, are known to need modification when the bodies under examination are moving at speeds near that of light or are extremely small like parts of atoms (quantum physics). The new laws can be shown to reduce to Newton’s Laws when the speed is small (near zero wrt light-speed, etc.).

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HPQ77GDELGWJSVAYM5TQQGBTZ4 Sheila S.

    The term “Global Warming” has been replaced politically with “Climate Change”.  Excellent. Let’s promote that change.  While a tiny minority of scientists are still deniers of global warming, there is still a significant number of American Conservatives who are deniers.  Nobody, however, can deny the reality of significant climate change, which is easily quantifiable.  

    • Don_B1

      Actually both terms have been used since at least the late 1970s. Each has meaning that is appropriate to various issues, depending on the subject.

      1) When considering that certain areas are going to turn into deserts and others get wetter, those are subjects where climate change reflects what is happening due to higher levels of CO2.

      2) When considering the average temperatures in agricultural areas or on the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can take on, those are subjects where global warming reflects the physics of what is going on.

      3) When considering the effect on the oceans, global warming, which causes water to expand in volume, and ocean acidification, which is caused by the ocean’s increased acidification from more CO2 absorption because there is more in the atmosphere, is yet a third way to describe a big effect of CO2 emissions. That acidification is preventing shellfish and coral from forming the carbon based shells, which will have a major effect on the future of ocean life.

  • DrewInGeorgia

    Easier to sail to The Pole than to get there with a team of dogs. For some reason that disturbs me even more than the video depicting melt that was provided for today’s show.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    Some have asked how we know that this is different from the last say million years.  We have tree ring samples and coral reef samples that show growth patterns.  We have ice core samples from Greenland and other locations showing growth rates of the ice pack and giving samples of the atmosphere at each point.  The evidence is clear:  The planet is warming up, and greenhouse gases accumulating are the cause.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/HPQ77GDELGWJSVAYM5TQQGBTZ4 Sheila S.

    As an American, I am ashamed that  our Preisdential candidate, Mitt Romney,  ridicules President Obama’s commitment to healing the planet and denies the urgent need for alternative renewable sources of energy.  I am even more ashamed that a large group of his supporters applaud Romney’s ignorance in these matters.  

  • BlueNH

    This is a subject that we all should be talking about.

    Question: can any geoengineering scheme help save the ice?

    Without the ice at the top of our world, I worry that humankind is doomed. It makes me very sad.

    • DottieHigh

       True, but the cockroaches and killer bees should do well.

      • Don_B1

        Don’t forget the bacteria and other protozoa which form some huge amount of the biosphere, something well over 50%, I believe in the 90% range. Many of them will survive, although some, and particularly those in the ocean that produce the atmospheric oxygen necessary for most animal life.

  • http://gregorycamp.wordpress.com/ Greg Camp

    How long will it take to disrupt the thermohaline cycle that would throw off the Gulf Stream?  In other words, how long till Europe doesn’t get warm water to keep it warmer than Russia during the winter?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       Gulf Stream is already throw off. It has been flowing very differently the past few years then what it normally does.

    • Don_B1

      There has been a lot of back and forth on this subject; apparently most climate and ocean scientists don’t think it will happen soon, but they are being watchful and are not ruling it out in the next century or so.

      But then almost every prediction is coming true sooner than predicted.

  • ToyYoda

    Question.

    I’d like to know why scientist have been caught by surprise by the ice cap melting as fast as it did.  Working as an engineer, often times I’ve seen underestimation due to an under-appreciation of how powerful feedback loops can be.  Is that the case here?  Meaning, warm weather caused the ice caps to shrink, and a shrinking ice cap amplifies warm weather effects.

    Furthermore, once the ice caps go?  What then?  Doesn’t the ice also act as a heat insulator?  Meaning, it prevents the heat exchange between the atmosphere and the warmer water?  Does this mean that the feedback loops accelerates even further and the all the weather simulations will need to be drastically revised?

    thanks.

  • Michiganjf

    Isn’t the loss of glacial mass the important factor in the Antarctic, especially as the sea ice in the Antarctic tends to melt every year anyway?

    • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

      The albedo (or surface reflextivity) is also very important.  A white surface reflects heat back into space, a dark watery surface absorbs it.    The mass (or thickness) of the ice is more important in terms of the ability of the glacial ice to absorb heat before melting. 

  • gonkers

    Some here claim climate change isn’t anthropogenic… but is driven by the sun, the precession of the earth’s axis, or cosmic rays. None of the above are unreasonable explanations. But if true does that mean we’re magically out of the woods? That we won’t have flooding of coastal cities? That we won’t lose prime agricultural land? That there won’t be desertification of large parts of the planet? That there won’t be more energetic and damaging weather events? That we won’t have massive dislocations of populations? That there won’t be mass extinctions of plant and animal life or that insect pests won’t move to new regions where they lack natural predators?

    6-10 thousand years ago humans could pick up and leave areas that became inhospitable. We don’t have that luxury any more. We built our world civilization based on the mild climate and the sea level of the past 2-3000 years.

    If climate change is driven by factors other than greenhouse gases what’s the denier’s ”solution” to avoid the above?

    Economics may dictate we drastically reduce greenhouse gases because it may be the only variable we CAN control and the least expensive way to mitigate a global disaster.
    Economics may dictate we must drastically reduce greenhouse gases because it may be the only variable we CAN control and the least expensive way to mitigate a global disaster.

    • DottieHigh

       Great points.  Well stated.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      Look, nothing stands in the way of the American “god given right” to drive SUVs to Walmart and buy junk shipped half way around the world.

      In other words, these people don’t give damn about anything but their pampered lifestyles and won’t give them up in a million years even if it’s destroying the very earth all life depends on for survival..

      • gonkers

         
        US consumers have been spoiled rotten believing if they can afford to buy something in the market, that gives them the right not to pay anything more than that market price.
         

        But there is an inherent flaw at the center of our economic system: those market prices don’t reflect the TRUE costs of using some products, in this case fossil fuels. These market distortions are amplified by political distortions such as the massive backdoor subsidies we pay to maintain a military presence in the Mideast to “safeguard” the West’s use of that oil.  

      • Don_B1

        The thing comes down to the fact that reasonable modifications to our lifestyles, sustainable energy sources rather than fossil fuels, public transportation and electric vehicles and buildings with a lot more insulation, could preserve the majority of our current lifestyles, but ONLY if action begins, like, TODAY. The longer action to reduce and eliminate the use of fossil fuels for our energy the bigger and more expensive that conversion will be, both because the change-over will have to be faster and because the climate change will require more adaptation.

        Thus it comes down to the greed of the elites, Republican type, that will doom us all, just like the elites on Easter Island kept harvesting trees which eventually denuded the Island and the environment that made life possible for all the inhabitants.

      • Steve__T

         A million years? I don’t think we will have that much time, After we’re gone you think there will be another Ice Age? So many questions so few answers, sad part is I know I won’t be here to see it. If you believe in the Bible God said he wouldn’t drown us again he’ll let us kill each other off till he get tired(Revelations)apocalypse

  • http://www.facebook.com/stephen.helmey Stephen Helmey

    There was an interesting kitchen table experiment on public TV a couple of years ago.  They filled a beaker with ice and water and put it on a burner and took the temperature every 30 seconds.  The temperature remained almost unchanged until the ice was gone.  Then the temperature rose rapidly when there was no more ice.  The ice pack is undoubtedly a huge moderating influence on the global temperature rise.  What will likely happen to the earth’s climate when there is no more ice.  Will all advanced life forms disappear when the sea ice is gone?  Can we afford to allow this to unfold?  Will we be among the survivors?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       We won’t stop it.

      When Earth becomes Venus most life won’t survive.

      • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

        If intelligent life is this short lived, no wonder we can’t find ET.

  • Scott B

    Those that deny it, those that insist man has nothing to with it in particular, will cling to any scrap of deny-ability, like graphs of global trends since time immemorial which flatten the peaks, the 3% of scientists and the Big Oil & Coal companies that say it’s not, and their last bastion of deny-ability of  theories about a specific type of cloud.
      But what do we hear? Not “Let start to fix this”, we have nations fighting over mineral rights to drill for even more of what got us in the mess.
      Help us all if Romney wins the election and the Republicans win the Senate as Sen James Inhof is set to be the chairman for committee that oversees the EPA, as he’s been a leader in those that deny global warming and those that would see the EPA dismantled.
     
     Water covers 7/10ths of the Earth. Nature has been showing that global
    warming is happening with fish migrating further from their traditional
    ranges, which is threatening the food chain not just in the ocean, but
    for humans, and that effects the world economy. The icecap is now at a record low. Those that don’t understand, or refuse to, would do good to remember that ice doesn’t work at 32.5 degrees. That’s something they should be able to remember from grade school.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.weiskel Tim Weiskel

    There is a regular source of information about these issues that is being used in college classrooms.  See:
    http://environmentaljusticetv.wordpress.com/?s=polar+ice
     

  • Michiganjf

    I would say the very response of your guest to a caller, as to Antarctic sea ice expanding as Arctic ice melts is part of the problem.

    He simply answered yes, without pointing out that it’s NOT a zero sum scenario.

    Eventually, climate change WILL effect Antarctic ice drastically as well!

  • Yar

    Live below our means, as if it would be wrong to do the right thing for a wrong reason.  What may be an inconvenience to the 2% using 25 % is life or death to the 47% that live on less than 2 dollars per day. 

  • plr01

    I read a theory (I think in Sci. American) several years ago.  I can’t recall all the details, but the theory suggested that the melting of the polar ice caps could cause changes in ocean currents such that the gulf stream would be pushed more southerly — resulting in a chilling effect on northern Europe (Scandinavia and other northern countries).  There would also be an accompanying increase in cloud cover.  End result — global cooling by several degrees leading to another ice age.  What do you think?  Ever heard of this?

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

      Yes, that is happening too. But for what I’ve read it won’t cool more then it’s warming.

      The stored methane is being released in the melting permafrost.

      29x more potent of a greenhouse gas then CO2.

      If it continues we will have runaway warming.

      The Venus effect

  • http://www.facebook.com/harperagdec Allen Dec

    We KNOW what is causing all these changes – industry, fossil fuel consumption, chemical poisoning of the air, the waterways and the soil. Seers and intuitives, many from our Native People’s cultures, have seen and have shared their visions of the future. 
    http://www.birdclan.org/rainbow.htm And  it is heartwarming to see so many people trying to take to heart the need to respect the world, to respect Nature, and to understand the symbiotic nature of our existence in this material world, if we are to create a healthy venue to live in. 

    • harverdphd

       Wrong

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.weiskel Tim Weiskel

    There is a web-based channel upon which university researchers are sharing information about this.  See: http://environmentaljusticetv.wordpress.com/?s=polar+ice

    As for “waiting for the data…”  Perhaps we should start reading the data.  It is coming at us with all the force of a burst of a fire hydrant.  It is virtually impossible to take a drink from a fire hydrant without getting your head blown off.  Why not listen to the scientists who have been giving us context and explanations about this for decades now.

    The thickness of the ice is crucial, as a recent report has shown….http://wp.me/p2iDSG-KV

    In social terms, both Kumi Naidoo and Bill McKibben have been pointing to the urgency of our circumstance and the incredible irony of drilling for MORE fossil fuels in the arctic where the impact of using fossil fuels is becoming most apparent:
    http://wp.me/p2iDSG-JK

    You know there is something dramatically wrong when an internationally known anti-Apartheid activist is found in the arctic circle in protest:
    http://wp.me/p2iDSG-sr

  • Scott B

    Some So. American countries are trying to paint the now exposed rock in the Andes white to slow melting of their glaciers and the water runoff.

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/GYOKNNUKGSRTSA4RNFMUJRO5WE Greg

       Hadn’t heard that.

      How long can that last?

      And how much can they really paint?

      • Scott B

         It’s true. I don’t know how long it’ll last, but I’m hoping it’s very eco-safe or they’re trading one batch of problems for a few others. 

        If they sprayed with a crop duster, probably quite a bit, starting with the problem areas.

        It’s not just for the environment, it is for aesthetics, as it’s not good for tourism – mountaineering, hiking, skiing, etc. – if your country’s  snowy white peaks are bare rock and your cities are flooded with runoff.

        Of recent note, buildings in NYC are painting/coating their roofs white and saving 10% of energy costs. I also seem to remember hearing somewhere, some time ago, how if every roof in NYC was white it would reflect enough light to reduce the weather effects of large metro areas have on the weather, and the heat the buildings absorb and radiate at night – lowing costs for the city not just in utilities for itself, but everyone residing there; and it take a massive  power load off the utility providers and reducing blackouts, etc, but also in criminal activity as it raises when it’s hotter outside, a good amount if which is caused by the city’s buildings. holding heat and effecting the weather.

        I have a better idea, but I need a chemist or three, or maybe all of DuPont and Dow, et al. Maybe one of those idea-sharing sites?

      • Steve__T

         And what is that paint going to do to the water when and if it comes back?

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/TEPNB3O7KSJAOTR23EKBBMKRQM Steve

    Greenland ice cores indicate that in the past 110,000 years, the earth has been much colder (by about 15 degrees F).  Only the most recent 11,000 years have been at levels that are considered “normal” for most of human civilization.  See second graph at 
    http://www.wunderground.com/resources/climate/abruptclimate.asp

  • Mike_Card

    We know ice is heavier than water??  That must be why ice sinks to the bottom…

    • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

      Especially salt water, in which things are more buoyant. How salty is ocean-borne ice, and has that changed at all w.r.t those core samples?

      Can differing salinity affect the “conveyor belts” important to the continued flow of the Gulf Stream, for one example?

      • Mike_Card

        I’m not a scientist–I was just responding to the final caller to the show, who posited, “We know that ice is heavier than water, so the melting is causing a change in the rotational axis…”  or something like that; I was laughing too hard to hear the end of his conclusion.

        I’m pretty sure, however, that water expands as it freezes.

        • http://profile.yahoo.com/JXSANCUDPIKQSPID5KT2U4XK5Y TF

          I’m one either, just piggybacking on your good questions.

          And after I left that bottle of water in the freezer Saturday, I can almost explicity theorize that ice expands as it freezes.

          • Don_B1

            Actually, you have empirical evidence for your theory!

          • TomK_in_Boston

            Exactly. As we say, TF has done the experiment. That’s a fact, an observation. A theory would be a model explaining why it expands.

            It would be a different world if water was normal! No hockey! With liquid water most dense at 4 degrees centigrade, the temperature at the bottom of lakes in winter is…..4C. That keeps fish alive. Water has the highest heat capacity of any liquid (except metals) and so acts as a temperature stabilizer for the earth….

            A good source of water science is

            http://www.lsbu.ac.uk/water/  

          • gonkers

            Or maybe the rest of the world shrunk.

          • Steve__T

            A water molecule is made from one oxygen atom and two hydrogen atoms, strongly joined to each other with covalent bonds.
            Water molecules are also attracted to each other by weaker chemical bonds, hydrogen bonds between the positively-charged hydrogen atoms and the negatively charged oxygen atoms of neighboring water molecules. As water cools below 39 F, the hydrogen bonds adjust to hold the negatively charged oxygen atoms apart.that causes expansion or a lattice.

          • gonkers

            I’m well aware. My post was a joke.

        • TomK_in_Boston

          ….and you are correct. Water is unusual in an amazing number of properties, and they mostly stem from this simple fact.

          However, just because that’s true in our world doesn’t mean it’s true everywhere. In the red states all this ice melting has nothing to all the CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere, so maybe in, say, Kansas, ice is heavier than the liquid. 

          • Mike_Card

            I’ve heard that Jayhawks prefer their liquor neat–or not at all.

          • Don_B1

            After all, evolution does not exist there, nor does macroeconomics work the way it does almost anywhere else (the real world vs. the fantasy world that the Republicans live in and have a numerical majority in the voting booth).

        • Don_B1

          I don’t know if he was just misspeaking, or if he has genuinely mixed up the true statement that cold water is denser than warmer water, so that cold water settles to the bottom of the vessel, pond, etc., and the fact that as water reaches the temperature of 0°C, the slower motion of the H2O molecules allow inter-molecular bonds to form, which hold the molecules further apart than when still in a liquid state. Thus ice is less dense than liquid water at any temperature and pressure combination that keeps it liquid, although water molecules can vaporize and then be less dense. Note that ice can be crushed to put it in a liquid state.

          The physics of water is really fascinating and without that “strange” physics, life might not be possible. It would certainly look quite different, as would the earth, if ice (and snow) was not “white” (reflective to much of the heat-bearing radiation from the sun).

          • Mike_Card

            This is getting ‘way into the weeds for me, with only my high school physics to rely on.  Unless memory has deserted me, it seems that it takes as many calories (or is it BTU’s?) to turn ice at 0 C to water at 0 C as it does to turn water at 0 C to water at 100 C.

            Regardless, I’m thinking that water is most efficient as liquid rather than solid or gas.  Which I guess underlies my incredulity at the caller’s assertion.

            Maybe I ought to listen to the re-broadcast–just to make sure!

          • Don_B1

            The “trick” is that there are (too?) many different scales, mostly for historical reasons; here the physical quantity being measured is energy to convert something (water) at a constant temperature from one state to another. The scales range from units of calories to joules to BTUs. 

            Conversion of water from ice to liquid takes 334 kiloJoules (kJ) per kilogram (kg) at 0°C while conversion from liquid to water vapor takes 2260 kJ per kg at 100°C. The ratio is about 6.766 for the latent heat of vaporization to the latent heat of fusion (melting/freezing).

      • Steve__T

         Ice that forms from freezing seawater typically freezes slowly enough
        that it forms crystalline water, ice, which does not have room for salt
        inclusions. These ice floes are not truly icebergs, but they can be
        extremely large chunks of ice, that form when a piece of a glacier or other land-based ice sheet breaks off.

    • http://twitter.com/Dangermanumber6 LuchadaveDeBarbarian

      I loved how the “experts” let that one go. 

    • Steve__T

      Basic chemistry 101 The reason Ice floats is it’s composition 1part hydrogen 2 parts oxygen, it is about 9% less dense than liquid water. In other
      words, ice takes up about 9% more space than water, so a liter of ice
      weighs less than a liter water. The heavier water displaces the lighter
      ice, so ice floats to the top.

      I laughed so hard I though of Bugs Bunny What a maroon.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tim.weiskel Tim Weiskel

    Geo-engineering — as it is currently conceived — is part of the problem! Not a solution.  This is particularly troubling because of the advice that may be given to our President.  John Holdren has said we must “keep it on the table”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmr5gdOOWU8

    But he then points out we do not know enough to engineer a complex ecosystem of which we are only a part. 

    Surely there is some room here for the classic formulation of ethics as “self-imposed, self restraint.”  We need to rethink our environmental ethics rather than thinking about tweeking the system with geo-engineering.

  • http://www.facebook.com/rex.lowe.37 Rex Lowe

    With the receding Arctic ice oil companies are planning to drill for more oil in that region as it will become easier to do so. If global warming is suspected tot NOT be caused by hydrocarbon emissions, what a terrific gamble for the oil energy the industry to roll the dice for us all.

  • http://twitter.com/Dangermanumber6 LuchadaveDeBarbarian

    Scientists who just let some caller get away with saying ice weighs more than water? Okeedokee!

    • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

      If scientists corrected every unscientific american utterance, they wouldn’t have to time left to do any actual science.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

       They did correct it — he said that ice has the same mass as the water it displaces; he said that right after the caller asked the question.  The land ice *does* change the gravitational pull — it affects the sea level around places like Greenland and Antarctica and the sea level south of the equator is higher than the same latitude north of the equator.

      Neil

  • Steve_the_Repoman

    givens…? 
       -complex/long-term problem
       -difficult science
              -many variables
              -relatively closed system (planet/atmosphere)
        -identification of solution/education
        -selfish uninterested people incapable of
         enlighteded decisions.
        -economic cycle vs. many scientific cycles
        -social vs cultural cycles….
    solutions…?
        -top down vs. bottom up responsibility
        -how can those at the top make $$$ off of a solution
        -cradle to cradle…?
    less desirable/possible solutions…?
        -genocide to eliminate consumption…?
        -climate induced plague…?
        -space travel for the wealthy to leave the spoils…
              -migration/the solution that people have often
               used throughout history of mankind
        -time travel…?

    Stream of consciousness ramblings…

    Have not yet had opportunity to listen to program.
    Some tongue in cheek/ some not so much.

       

  • Marks2Much

    What about the fact that the north magnetic pole is shifting closer to Siberia by over 50 miles a year, and is accelerating? Why is this fact not being mentioned as a contributing factor?

    • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

      The magnetic poles reverse roughly every 7000 years.   But this field only affects charged solar and intra-galactic particles, not light.  So the Sun will warm the Earth at roughly the same rate.  However, we will likely see more genetic mutations and higher skin cancer rates as the magnetic field temporarily drops to zero and high energy (carcinogenic) particles bombard the surface unhindered. 

      • Don_B1

        I remember thinking along those lines as I learned about the “flipping” of the magnetic field, but it is more like a bar magnet at the center of the world wobbling and slowly turning end for end; the field will vary somewhat in strength (mostly because it is not that well-modeled as a bar magnet) but mostly the field lines change orientation.

        The scientific agreement is that the magnetic field changes  fully flips its orientation at intervals between 100,000 and 1,000,000 years.

        • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

          There isn’t a bar magnet at the center of the earth.  There is rotational convection of polarized molten metal.   If the polarity flips it’s caused by a reversal in the rotation.    Think of it like a slinky that has been twisted, the stored energy in the spring causes it rotate the other way when released.  Except in this case it’s not solid metal that is being twisted but rather magnetic field lines.   I’ve heard the ~250,000 estimate a while ago, but the ~7000 estimate is from more recent date.  The numbers vary wildly, and the exact cause and mechanism of the change in polarity isn’t very well understood since footage of the Earth’s core are pretty hard to come by.  

          • Don_B1

            I agree that a bar magnet is not a good model for the generator of the earth’s magnetic field (my comment on “not well-modeled” might indicate but I should have been a lot more explicit) and that it is generated by flowing iron compounds where the flow is influenced in some way to deviate from rotating with the earth’s rotation, probably by some chaotic influence, something like turbulent flow of a river over rocks (the edges of the upper mantle layers?) etc.

            I was just trying a really simplified model of the magnetic field source that could form an image for someone not used to thinking of it, but I should have been more explicit in saying that it was a really oversimplified model of a thick viscous liquid spinning thus generating a magnetic field. So I thank you for ensuring that people do not go away with an oversimplified model.I do remember thinking that it was something more like every 20,000 years from the first time I learned about the tectonic plate theory and one way to show it was the magnetization flips in the rocks along the Atlantic ridge where the lava flows. I cannot seem to find a reference to that number now.

    • Michele

       The rotational changes are actually normal. I have heard scientists compare the rotation of the Earth to a wobbly top.  That is why the star that is known as the North Star (currently Polaris) changes every few thousand years.  During ancient Egypt the North Star was Thuban. 

      • Don_B1

        Not only is the earth like a spinning gyroscope where the axis slowly “wobbles” (precesses) in a circle, but the orbit around the sun changes from nearly circular to more elliptical and back to more circular. All this affects the way the sun’s rays strike the earth in small ways, and the totality is known as the Milankovitch Cycles (proposed in the 1930s). Right now the earth’s orbital parameters are in that part of a Milankovitch Cycle which would be cooling the earth toward the next Ice Age were it not for the heating effect of burning fossil fuels.

        When the cycle leads to more incident radiation and a small warming of the earth, that warming led to the release of more CO2 which then further warmed the earth (the change in the earth’s orbit parameters would not have generated that much heating) and then when the cycle put the earth in a position where less radiation came from the sun such that the earth cooled, over a period of centuries the excess CO2 would be absorbed in buried plant life, until the next warming came. But with each cycle, some of the plant life remained buried, accumulating with each new cycle. Basically the part of the cycle where extra warming occurs after being initiated by the orbital-caused increased sun heating then caused further heating from the release of buried hydrocarbons like methyl hydrates in the tundra shows that increased CO2, this time from burning fossil fuels, is the cause of the current warming.

        But the effect of man’s burning of fossil fuels is to release the huge amounts of buried fossil carbons, accumulated over many cycles of Ice Ages and warm periods which have taken the earth from periods where the temperature was continuously much warmer than today. That temperature would not be anywhere near as conducive to human life as the one extant over the last 10,000 years where human civilization has come to depend on much of what that climate has given it.

        The current global warming, if not halted, could possibly take the earth to a warm state it has not seen in maybe a couple billion years, certainly many millions of years. That is certainly not predictable from current knowledge, but it cannot be ruled out. But it likely would depend on other orbital parameters, or the sun’s energy level for that to happen and those are independent of human burning of fossil fuels. Most likely this last, as differentiated from the previous paragraphs which are serious, is futile unfounded speculation, but it is fun. Does this ask Robert Frost’s question, “Fire or Ice?”

  • BlueNH

    There will be a worldwide candlelight vigil for the Arctic and our planet on Friday night, December 21, the winter solstice. It is an night to mourn the reliable climate Planet Earth has enjoyed for thousands of years, and to reflect on the damaged Earth we are leaving future generations.

    Place a lighted candle in your front window that night, and take the opportunity to apologize to Mother Earth and To your children for leaving the planet such a mess.

    • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

      If these estimates on polar melting are accurate, then it’s not just your grandchildren or even children you should be worried about.   Worry about yourself, and anyone else under 65.

      • TomK_in_Boston

        Don’t worry, the RR boys will give you a voucher to cover half the cost of a boat, mumbling “drill, baby drill” the whole time.

  • http://twitter.com/Ziljan_Vega Logan

    Just assume for one second that the tree huggers are right… what is opportunity cost if they are wrong?   A few jobs shifting from one sector to another? and a little less creature comfort?  vs the only known planet that can support human existence.   It seems like denying the issue is a huge gamble for a very small payoff.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1550427523 Akilez Stamatelaky

    Was it really 125 degrees yesterday in California? The Emmy host was complaining about the heat yesterday.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dan.meraw Dan Meraw

    With folks like this in charge, what hope do we have??? 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5yNZ1U37sE

  • phil66

    Was not able to listen to the entire show. So in case this new info from NOAA was not mentioned, here it is.
    http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/2012-seaicemin.html
     

    This year, a powerful cyclone formed off the coast of Alaska
    and moved on Aug. 5 to the center of the Arctic Ocean, where it churned the weakened ice cover for several days. The storm cut off a large section of sea ice north of the Chukchi Sea and pushed it south to warmer waters that made it melt entirely. It also broke vast extensions of ice into smaller pieces more likely to melt.

     
    “The storm definitely seems to have played a role in
    this year’s unusually large retreat of the ice”, Parkinson said. “But that exact same storm, had it occurred decades ago when the ice was thicker and more extensive, likely wouldn’t have had as prominent an impact, because the ice wasn’t as vulnerable then as it is now.”

     
    NASA scientists derive 2012 sea ice concentration data from
    microwave instruments aboard Defense Meteorological Satellite Program satellites. The wind data in the visualization is from the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.

  • http://twitter.com/cwooley89 Charles Wooley

    tree hugging liberal propaganda
    All I need to know about Global Warming is that it wasnt mentioned in THE BIBLE!

    • harverdphd

       You should read more carefully

  • David Smith

    The guest is not correct about melting sea ice and seawater salinity. There is an effect, and it would be nice to discuss the issues behind rapid sea ice melting.

    “Sea ice also affects the movement of ocean waters. When sea ice forms,
    most of the salt is pushed into the ocean water below the ice, although
    some salt may become trapped in small pockets between ice crystals.
    Water below sea ice has a higher concentration of salt and is more dense
    than surrounding ocean water, and so it sinks. In this way, sea ice
    contributes to the ocean’s global “conveyor-belt” circulation.”
    - National Snow and Ice Data Center

  • Steve__T

    Put a big umbrella in space over the poles. (joke)

  • Pingback: A New Low For Arctic Ice | On Point with Tom Ashbrook | Clearing House for Environmental Course Material

  • AuntieCrap

    When are we going to vote out the oilmen. After the Arctic Spring?

  • AuntieCrap

    How long is it going to take to fight the oilmen. We are the new dinosaurs if we don’t get an education.

  • AuntieCrap

    This is a gas chamber arguement/

  • Pingback: Ice caps….? « globalecologicalucd

  • NrthOfTheBorder

    There’s that sinking feeling again.  

    We don’t process well on this level.  

    We might talk about it – but soon, we’re our merry way once again.  

    If this were a tornado we’d startle for a nanosecond – then, all switches on, we’d head for exits…. or the nearest basement. 

    But this ? Nary a finger lifted only to double down on the path to the American dream.

    I wonder how far we’ll get into this before it sinks in. I mean, how bad will it get before we snap out of it…out of our illusion, denial and procrastination?

    I recently reread “A Night to Remember” the book (forget the movie) about the sinking of the Titanic. I recommend it as a metaphor –  not to mention the ratio of survivors to those who didn’t make it strikes me as about right.   

     

  • gamma57721

    methane is 24 times more potent that CO2. as the permafrost melts, methane emission from anaerobic bacteria will skyrocket. we are in the early stages of a vicious feedback loop.

  • Vardette

    The fate of our Earth and us is in the hands of mindless polluters. The point of no return is here and they can’t wait to drill in the arctic.

    • harverdphd

       So let’s drill and enjoy what we have.

      • Vardette

        And future generations can just get fked along with our beautiful planet. You probably don’t have kids.

        • harverdphd

           You said the point of no return is here…I agreed

          • Vardette

            I find the fact that oil companies and other polluters think it’s a OK to destroy our Earth and cause mass devastation for porfits is acceptable when it’s a horror. I live in a beautiful place. Over the years many creatures have vanished like bats, bees, frogs, snakes, Fire Flies and more. Right now perhaps you and I are OK but believe me if we became victims of their abuse you might not be so accepting of the destruction that will fall upon tens of millions and already is and will in greater numbers to future generations, our children and grandchildren. I just spoke to the king of Tahiti. He was going to the UN to tell them that Tahiti is sinking. This mentality of it’s OK to destroy, poison, kill and impoverish for profits is assaulting everyone in some way and on many differerent levels. Our food and water are filled with jet fuel, pesticides, GMO’s, synthetic hormones, our air is polluted and too many are being impoverished in our economy with unfettered outsourcing, corruption and greed. Our oceans are filled with radiation, Mercury, plastic, flame retardents and tens of thousands of pesticides. On every level people are being assaulted. So it’s not just Climate Change, it’s the the mentality of profits at all cost to anything that is so destructive, suicidal and outrageous.

      • gonkers

        Thanks for proving the fate of our Earth and humanity might actually be in the hands of the mindless.

  • JosephTeilhard

    I felt this was a very weak OnPoint segment. I count Tom as one of my top ten favorite journalists so no disrespect. But this discussion didn’t seem to adequately address simple cause and effect. The cause was discussed in very murky terms, and it’s effects according to the guests and Tom didn’t go far beyond “less ice in the future” and “polar bears will be upset”.

    Also, the time frames discussed… 50-100 years is not the distant future.

    Water levels rising by several feet were chatted about as a shrug of the shoulder while it means Venice is gone, and New York is a quaint archipelago.

    Politically, intellectual dishonesty wasn’t addressed – which is a big part of the intransigency and stagnation of the public discussion.

    Which makes me wonder – (quick thought experiment) if cows were determined to be the cause of global warming, humans would probably exterminate cows … If humans are determined to be the cause, what’s our response? Like any criminal, we deny culpability.

    I think this segment should be done over.

    • Gregg Smith

      Relax, we’re fine.

      • NrthOfTheBorder

        Why Gregg? Because the Bible tells you so?

        • Gregg Smith

          I’m not aware that the Bible says much on the matter, but it’s a good book.

        • harverdphd

           Actually, the Bible does say that to anyone willing to listen.

          • gonkers

             

            Should we listen to everything the Bible says? How about Acts,
            where after the crucifixion, James and the other followers of Jesus lived a
            communistic lifestyle? Leviticus, where it’s a sin to eat shellfish? Or just
            the parts where Man has dominion over the earth?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dempsey.71 Dennis Dempsey

    As far as the past three decades of weather changing, why don’t folks look up, and see the ChemTrail Manipulations. EVERYDAY, WORLDWIDE. – We should NOT PLAY GOD TO EARTH. Our Earth has been doing what she is doing for Billions of years. What gives us the right to manipulate what we “think” should be or not be done? – What is happening, is NORMAL!! PERIOD! There is NO SUCH THING AS GLOBAL WARMING nor this so called Green House Effect – That is BS – It’s up to us, as a human race, to reflect back upon it’s history, and realize, we Must go with Her Flow. Not the other way around. People should Not panic. Besides, the earth is part of a HUGE SOLAR SYSTEM, that works together. So what happens on our earth, is determined by what happens in the solar system. I’m not a scientist, just using common sense. When I hear say on the program, that studies started in the 1970s….  I laughed. 1970s was YESTERDAY, Not a Million years ago. I would love to voice the Truth on this subject. And I would Love to see those jets STOP SPRAYING this crap, thinking we can reflect the sun. We can Never reflect the sun, but we ARE Reflecting the HEAT, Right BACK TO EARTH! – I would love the opportunity to speak and teach. – I listened to Tom’s program last evening, for the first time, because of my interest in this matter. With NO disrespect intended, I felt it to be a high school style discussion, with Absolutely NO COMMON SENSE. Big Fancy Scientific Words, with No Meaning. – All these so called Scientists of today, where do they get there education from? I Wonder…….   If anything we NEED to Address, is ChemTrailing. That will be our demise if we continue to let it happen. Just give me the opportunity to speak, and you’ll begin to understand. – By the way, I personally think it’s a WONDERFUL THING that Mother Nature is giving us PURE VIRGIN, Pollution FREE WATER from the melt. I say in closing, WAKE UP PEOPLE!!!  It’s NOT the End of the world, it’s just the beginning, if only we leave it alone. Lastly, humans are NOT Responsible for what is happening. For someone to think that, they have a small mind.

    • gonkers

      Ah yes, chem-trails.

      Care to share any other conspiracy theories from Coast2Coast or Ground Zero?

  • gonkers

    I have to this ask again to our climate change denier friends here since last time I don’t think they got it:

    OK, so say climate change is NOT anthropogenic… but is driven by the sun, the precession of the earth’s axis, or cosmic rays. None of the above, by the way, are unreasonable explanations. It could be a combination of ALL of the above.

    But assuming you’re correct that humankind is making NO contributions to climate change, does that mean we’re magically out of the woods? That we will NOT possibly have flooding of coastal cities? That we will NOT possibly lose vast stretches of prime agricultural land? That there will NOT possibly be desertification of large parts of the planet as happened to the Sahara and Mideast? That there will NOT possibly be more energetic and damaging weather events? That we will NOT possibly have massive dislocations of populations? That there will NOT possibly be mass extinctions of plant and animal life or that insect pests won’t move to new regions where they lack natural predators? 

    6-10 thousand years ago humans could pick up and leave areas that became inhospitable. Modern humans don’t have that luxury any more. We built our world civilization and invested trillions and trillions of dollars in infrastructure based on the mild climate and the sea level of the past 2-3000 years.
     
    If climate change is driven by factors other than greenhouse gases then IT’S STILL HAPPENING.  So what’s your “solution” to avoid the possible consequences above?

    • gonkers

      More Disqus ‘quirks”? The post above was there, then it disappeared for 20 minutes both reloading the page, and looking at the “unformatted” posts with javascript off.

      • harverdphd

         Oh stop…your post is silly

    • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dempsey.71 Dennis Dempsey

      I
      say, Humans are NOT Responsible for Climate Change, which by the way, is the
      “Proper” Term for what we are experiencing. As I read what is written above, I
      can assume NO Education on History of Mankind nor Earth. So to Enlighten a bit.
      Prior to the year 1492, we can pretty much say, all Inhabitants on this
      Wonderful Earth of Ours’, thought the earth FLAT. Thoughts were, if they
      traveled beyond the horizon, they would fall off the earth. Heck, even the Queen
      thought this. It was Christopher Columbus who Knew the Earth was not flat, and
      was determined to Prove this to the World of then, which he did. Keeping in
      mind, I say World of then, meaning ONLY the Kingdom and a few others now knew
      the earth wasn’t flat. It took HUNDREDS MORE YEARS for this to be known to the
      more Civilized Civilizations of
      this earth. – We Humans, are but a grain of sand in the ocean. Nothing more. Our
      Earth has been on a CONSTANT CHANGE, and WILL CONTINUE to be Changing. Weather
      or not our little peon minds will accept this TRUTH or Not. It’s the Reality,
      Period. – It’s asked if we are going to see oceans rise, flooding, weather
      changes, including Temperature Changes, Earthquakes, Volcano Eruptions, and the
      like, YES, OF COURSE WE WILL! To think not, is
      ludicrous.

      Think of our life here on Earth as a big Hop Scotch Game. If we know floods are coming, MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND. If we live near a Volcano, MOVE AWAY, if we live near the oceans’, MOVE INWARD, if we live on a peninsula, GET OFF. – Or, we build our structures to “go with the flow”. That’s another subject. If folks took a moment to remember the Recent Tsunami, they will recall that Mother Nature’s Critters, those that were able to run, DID, and in PLENTY OF TIME. If we would only LISTEN TO OUR EARTH. She Talks to US EVERYDAY! So Without Doubt, Expect Entire Cities to be washed away into the new seas, as they were for tens of thousands of years. With few exceptions, one being the Great Pyramids. They were a bit smarter. But not. Their dwellings held up as the oceans rose up, but of course, they were in tombs of death. Again, they also thought the earth Flat. So with that thinking, were do they run? – I was hoping there would be smart people on our earth in modern times, but I see NOT. Which is FRIGHTFUL just thinking about. – I often tell folks this little story, in hopes they obtain an understanding. 100 years ago, the Everglades of Florida, were nothing but jungle and swamp lands. If a Massive Hurricane came through, the ONLY people who knew, where the Indians. And YES, there has been Severe Hurricanes through the centuries of time. But now, mankind comes in, drains the land, re-routes the water, and builds his cities. Here comes a Hurricane, and now it’s a BIG THING. Everyone is Scared. But why?? Because as a whole, humans are Ignorant. (Sad but True) – To actually think, that We, We are Responsible for what is happening, is nothing short of INSANITY! If you know your earth, One Volcano Eruption, would equal 10,000 lifetimes of emissions and whatever we throw out there. Just ONE ERUPTION, which we Have MANY OF, across this earth. There are natural gases that are pouring out, there are streams of crude oil pouring out, and I can go on with this. I say, EDUCATE Yourselves, BEFORE SPEAKING, and Most Definitely BEFORE ACTING! – And this is what Tees me OFF about the ChemTrailing. Thinking we know something that we have NO IDEA ABOUT- This WILL BE, HUMAN EXTINCTION by HUMANS, Not Mother Earth. We Need to Stop Blaming, and Start Educating, and Expecting these NATURAL THINGS. Noah built an ark, not that I’m in belief of the story, but the MORAL IS CLEAR. We Humans, ACROSS THE EARTH, Need to start Changing Up in order to survive the Wrath that is ahead of us. The Earth WILL PREVAIL, and So Shall Her Inhabitants, if ONLY THEY LEARN How to Play Hop Scotch, and BUILD and LIVE IN ACCORDANCE. – Final Words, again, NO SUCH THING AS GREEN HOUSE EFFECT, nor GLOBAL WARMING. – If it were true, think about this for a moment, if you’ve ever been in an actual green house, the temperature is consistant throughout. NOT SO ON EARTH. If there was a “Global” Warming, then there would be NO COLD WEATHER, and GREENLAND would not be freezing, creating the next Cold Pole of Earth. – Keep in mind, the sun does Not set due West, nor does it rise Due East any longer. We had a shift, and the slightest shift, will cause dramatic changes. Your compass does not point due north anymore either. By the way, I am NOT SAYING that we aren’t Hurting ourselves with our pollutions, WE ARE. And yes, we do put a Hurting on Mother Nature, but She Fixes Herself. As is evident with the melting we are discussing. She is feeding Her Planet FRESH, CLEAN, VIRGIN WATER. Which I Pray we don’t destroy. – I Hope someone will Learn something from this. Or at least be Prompted to Learn.

      • gonkers

        All that tirade just to evade the question I was asking? So we can deal with all the dire possible consequences of climate change by playing hop-scotch?

        My point it we might have been able to play global hop-scotch thousands of years ago. But the population has grown since then, we’re too invested in the infrastructure we’ve built based on the current climate, and there are no simple answers anymore. Under those circumstances the new game of hop-scotch might involve efforts magnitudes greater than before. Regardless of the cause/s of climate change the most cost effective measures we can now take might be to modulate greenhouse gases on a global scale.

        See, unlike you I’m not willing to risk our children’s and their children’s future based on a delusion we KNOW that mankind is in no way be responsible for climate change.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

       Humans will adapt.  However imagine if this was a cooling period and the start of a new ice age.  Aren’t we due for a ‘natural cycle’ ice age — every 10,000 years.

      Imagine ice sheets down to NYC.  Much harder to adapt to the ice age.

      • gonkers

        Your “we’ll adapt” response is about as meaningless as DD’s hop-scotch response. It’s like saying as long as most of humanity survives, that, by definition, is adaptation.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dempsey.71 Dennis Dempsey

          With an IGNORANT QUOTE LIKE THIS, how can one discuss such a serious matter. And here I was thinking this was an Educated Crowd.”6-10 thousand years ago humans could pick up and leave areas that became inhospitable. Modern humans don’t have that luxury any more. We built our world civilization and invested trillions and trillions of dollars in infrastructure based on the mild climate and the sea level of the past 2-3000 years.”

          • gonkers

            So in your mind, being “educated” on this issue is to believe YOU have all the answers: “Just give me the opportunity to speak, and you’ll begin to understand.”

            And we must believe, without proof, humans have NO role in climate change: “Lastly, humans are NOT Responsible for what is happening. For someone to think that, they have a small mind.”

            That there’s no real problem here: “It’s NOT the End of the world, it’s just the beginning, if only we leave it alone.”. All we have to do to solve the problem is play global “hop-scotch” and we’ll be fine.

            And it’ll be fantastic when the icecaps melt because we’ll get a supply of pure water. 

            OK, I defer to your obvious expertise in this area. 

  • harverdphd

     It must be Bush’s fault

    • gonkers

      There’s a reason you have 32 posts and only 6 “likes”. Have relatives here?

  • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dempsey.71 Dennis Dempsey

    I come to visit, learn and discuss our situation here on earth, and what do I find??…………………… ahhhhh Gonkers anyway. I’m outta here.

    • gonkers

      As I posted below:

      So in your mind, being “educated” on this issue is to believe YOU have all the answers: “Just give me the opportunity to speak, and you’ll begin to understand.”

      And we must believe, without proof, humans have NO role in climate change: “Lastly, humans are NOT Responsible for what is happening. For someone to think that, they have a small mind.”

      That there’s no real problem here: “It’s NOT the End of the world, it’s just the beginning, if only we leave it alone.”. All we have to do to solve the problem is play global “hop-scotch” and we’ll be fine.

      And it’ll be fantastic when the icecaps melt because we’ll get a supply of pure water.

      OK, I defer to your obvious expertise in this area.

      • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dempsey.71 Dennis Dempsey

        It’s Not me with the answers, it’s OUR EARTH! Just Be Quiet, and you’ll hear her. FYI, the ice caps HAVE BEEN ON THE MELT FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS. What, you think they just started to melt yesterday???? GET EDUCATED ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Your comments show you Lack Education!! This is my last reply on this site. So DON’T BOTHER TO REPLY! If I only would have known people like you were running it, I would NOT Have Wasted my time trying to educate someone who thinks they know it all.

        • gonkers

           I merely point out the contradictions and absurdity of your posts below and I’m being accused of being a know it all?

          For example you claim humans can in NO WAY be responsible for climate change yet you then claim humans ARE changing the climate through “chem trails”.

          “Lastly, humans are NOT Responsible for what is happening. For someone to think that, they have a small mind.”

          vs

          “And I would Love to see those jets STOP SPRAYING this crap, thinking we
          can reflect the sun. We can Never reflect the sun, but we ARE Reflecting
          the HEAT, Right BACK TO EARTH! ”

          and

          “And this is what Tees me OFF about the ChemTrailing. Thinking we know something that we have NO IDEA ABOUT- This WILL BE, HUMAN EXTINCTION by HUMANS, Not Mother Earth.”

          Ya, I think this discussion is over.

          • http://www.facebook.com/dennis.dempsey.71 Dennis Dempsey

            I will take away Your Confusion Gonkers. Our discussion is about the MELTING of the Ice Caps. Correct? And my reply Stands, Humans ARE NOT RESPONSIBLE for this melting, which has been an on going Melting for Thousands of Years. Where were Humans then? – Second, when I state, “there is NO SUCH THING as Global Warming nor Greenhouse Effect” – It’s a NO BRAINER. To have Global Warming, the ENTIRE GLOBE MUST BE WARMING….. It’s NOT! Just ask those that live in places where the temps are Below Freezing. In order to have a GREENHOUSE EFFECT, the ENTIRE EARTH MUST HAVE A CONSISTENT Temperature, and it Doesn’t. So that Rules Out Both of those Ignorant Beliefs. – NOW, as for “Our Atmosphere” Currently, I DO Believe Humans have an impact, with the Chemtrailing and Heat Reflection. Which again, I will state, has NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ICE CAPS MELTING. PERIOD! – And that is what this discussion is about, Right?? As for your Concerns about Climate Change, again, think about what your stating, CLIMATE CHANGE. This is NATURAL to what our Earth Does. – I’m not saying that in more recent decades that man, with Chemtrailing hasn’t had an impact, because Chemtrailing is designed for Climate Changes. Even so, it will NEVER EFFECT THE EARTH. Humans, Yes, Earth, No! – You may ask why I can say that. Think of it like this, again, One Volcano Eruption Spews out More TOXINS than we humans could in a thousand years. – I DO AGREE, We Humans are in for some Heavy Duty Earthly Changes. Which is Nothing Short of NORMAL. Keep in mind, where there is desert now, once was an ocean.  Where there is oceans, once was dry land.  ENTIRE CITIES and CIVILIZATIONS were BURIED ALIVE under water, under volcanic eruption, etc. – And for Anyone to think this isn’t normal, or that it’s not going to happen again, these poor souls have a very small mind. It’s GOING TO HAPPEN! So it’s up to Each of Us, as an INDIVIDUAL, to LEARN how to live with and Deal with. And STOP RELYING ON Governments to Protect Us. I REST MY CASE! 

ONPOINT
TODAY
Apr 17, 2014
Students cheer and wave as President Barack Obama, not pictured, exits the podium after speaking at the University at Buffalo, in Buffalo, N.Y., Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013, beginning his two day bus tour speaking about college financial aid.  (AP)

The inside dope on college financial aid. The way it really works, who gets what, and how.

Apr 17, 2014
Ultra-Orthodox Jewish men burn leavened items in final preparation for the Passover holiday in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish town of Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Monday, April 14, 2014. Jews are forbidden to eat leavened foodstuffs during the Passover holiday that celebrates the biblical story of the Israelites' escape from slavery and exodus from Egypt. (AP)

In the week of Passover and anti-Semitic gunfire, we look at the history of the Jews with acclaimed historian Simon Schama. Plus, Pope Francis and the Catholic Church today.

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Apr 16, 2014
Harvard Business School is one of the top-ranked MBA programs in the country. Our guest today suggests those kinds of degrees aren't necessary for business success. (HBS / Facebook)

Humorist and longtime Fortune columnist Stanley Bing says, “forget the MBA.” He’s got the low-down on what you really need to master in business. Plus: the sky-high state of executive salaries.

 
Apr 16, 2014
A woman walks past a CVS store window in Foxborough, Mass., Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. The nation’s major drugstore chains are opening more in-store clinics in response to the massive U.S. health care overhaul, which is expected to add about 25 million newly insured people who will need medical care and prescriptions, as well as offering more services as a way to boost revenue in the face of competition from stores like Safeway and Wal-Mart. (AP)

Retailers from Walgreens to Wal-Mart to CVS are looking to turn into health care outlets. It’s convenient. Is it good medicine? Plus: using tech to disrupt the healthcare market.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Some Tools And Tricks For College Financial Aid
Thursday, Apr 17, 2014

Some helpful links and tools for navigating FAFSA and other college financial aid tools.

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How Boston Is Getting Ready For the 2014 Boston Marathon
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

Boston Globe metro reporter Maria Cramer explains how the 2014 Boston Marathon will be different than races in the past.

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WBUR’s David Boeri: ‘There’s Still Much We Don’t Know’
Tuesday, Apr 15, 2014

WBUR’s senior reporter David Boeri details the ongoing investigation into the alleged Boston Marathon Bombing perpetrators.

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