* Satellite data shows Antarctic ice melting much faster than we thought:
Two new satellite surveys show that warming air and water are causing Antarctica to lose ice faster than can be replenished by interior snowfall and thus are contributing to rising global sea levels.
The studies differed significantly in estimates of how much water was being added to the oceans this way, but their authors said that the work added credence to recent conclusions that global warming caused by humans was likely to lead to higher sea levels than previous studies had predicted.
* The next Baby Mozart craze has officially arrived:
Can a pregnant woman make her baby’s brain grow bigger just by exercising? That is the intriguing question raised by German researchers who compared brain development in mice born to mothers that ran on an exercise wheel with mice born to sedentary mothers. The offspring of the running mothers showed slower brain development prior to birth, but by the time the pups were seven weeks old, they had 40 percent more of a common brain cell than the pups of inactive mothers.
The authors warn that pregnant mothers shouldn’t get too excited about one animal study. Get real, guys. We live in a world where the ‘right’ kindergartens put up more of an admissions fight than most colleges. Nike will no doubt have an air-shocked ‘baby on board’ jogging shoe within months.
* The next wave of sunspots, peaking in 2012, should be a doozy. Get ahead on updating your Y2K survival kits while duct tape and water filters are cheap.
Attorney Surgeon General: Obesity is a greater threat than terrorism (via). Technically true, but demagogueing fears of obesity doesn’t win elections.
Fill me in on anything that I missed.
The standard advice for pregnant women seems to be that if you exercised before, you should keep exercising, but that it’s not smart for a pregnant woman to suddenly adopt an exercise regimen out of nowhere. It seems like common sense, but what do I know about being pregnant.
Anyway, I see Tim is going to persist in his ultra-liberal agenda of talking about scientific issues. For shame, Tim, you partisan hack. Would you believe Cindy Sheehan was arrested yesterday at the UN, and I actually read about it in my local paper before I saw it on Balloon Juice? In the good old days the woman couldn’t even sneeze without John Cole liveblogging it.
Sun is getting hotter and the Antarctica is melting. Must be George Bush’s fault
Cite please. Ten bucks says you pull out Tech Central Station.
Tim, there’s no sound science to support what you say about anartica. Just a bunch of left-wing clap trap, just like evolution, the big bang, and quantum physics.
Why do you insist on quoting us this…this….Pseudoscience? Why don’t you understand that big-G-little-o-little-d gave us dominion over the earth and therefore we can’t possibly be doing anything to hurt it? I’d like to see more proof than just a couple of studies. I mean, if the earth is warming, why is it still snowing in places?
Man, I never knew how liberating it could be to play the DougJ game…
I have to believe that that is no longer the real Don Surber. For all his shocking ignorance and stunning lack of journalistic integrity, he’s not quite that stupid.
Are you sure?
Day 140 of Phoenix not seeing a drop of rain. Every day sets a new record.
We also didn’t have anything resembling winter this year.
But, global warming is a lie, so it must be the natural order of things.
Homercles cares not for science! And by “Homercles,” I mean, “the current U.S. government.”
The Other Steve
I will agree with my conservative brethren on one point. While I believe global warming is most definately real, it is not clear to me that it is caused by humans.
I just watched a history channel episode which talked about Europe having gone through what they called a mini ice-age from around 1300-1800 AD. With a similar warming period for the 500 years prior.
They attribute this cooling for the decline of the Vikings, as well as changes in the agricultural practices throughout Europe. A shift from grain towards turnips and also clover fed to cattle as the dietary staples, and then later the introduction of the potato.
So it sounds as though there is a cycle, and they also attributed this cycle as being controlled by the polar ice caps. Things warm up, this causes more ice to melt, more fresh water to enter the ocean… which then causes the warm currents to stop flowing north, which then starts the freezing process again.
The point being, if the mini ice-age ended around 1800… we’re now in the middle of the warming period. If it were a 400-500 year cycle, we’d now be right at the peak of that. Perhaps mankind if making it a bit worse, but it sounds as though this is a earthly cycle regardless.
I want more research. That’s my point.
2012? Alert the Mayans!!!
The way I see the global warming issue is that humans may or may not be responsible, but the damage caused by being wrong about us not causing it and continuing to spew gases is far worse than the damage that would be caused by us being wrong about us causing it and slowing the use of fossil fuels. While the jury is out, I’ll err that way.
I’m slowly beginning to realize that Alberto Gonzales is not an expert on dieting after all, what with this retarded comparison! You might want to correct your header to “Surgeon General.”
I can’t remember the last time a fringe political group committed an act of obesity that killed a marketplace full of innocent people. I also can’t remember the last time a double bacon-cheeseburger declared jihad on a fat guy’s cholesterol level. Is Pizza Hut trying to buy our port operations again? Get Chuck Schumer on the phone!
Maybe, just maybe, it’s silly to compare voluntary acts of self-abuse with involuntary acts of murder. Just a thought.
I comment: “Sun is getting hotter and the Antarctica is melting. Must be George Bush’s fault”
Tim F replies: “Surber, Cite please. Ten bucks says you pull out Tech Central Station”
OK, Tim, I am commenting on your post. You cite an NYT story saying the Antarctica is melting. Then you cite an LAT story saying the Sun is getting hotter.
Please forward my 10 bucks to the Salvation Army or Union Mission. Both help impoverished West Virginians. If too religious, the Charleston Daily Mail Neediest Cases Fund will collect money in December
By the way, both poles have been melting for 10,000 years. Sumerians must have driven SUVs
The unfortunate thing about global warming (or any large, complex ecological problem) is that there is really no way to definitivly prove that it is occuring, and that it is being caused by human activity, until long after anything can be done to stop it. Sadly, we don’t have a bunch of spare planet earths and thousands of years to run some experiments with a “control” human-free planet to measure results against.
We know, as an undisputed fact, that carbon and methane in the atmosphere trap heat and cause a greenhouse effect. Without the natural greenhouse effect our planet would be uninhabitable. We also know, as an undisputed fact, that the amount of carbon in the atmosphere has rapdily increased over the past 200 years. We know, as an undisputed fact, that burning fossil fuels dumps carbon into the atmosphere. It seems reasonable to suspect that the increase in carbon is caused by burning fossil fuels, and that this could lead to more heat being trapped by the atmosphere. I’m not ready to site specific studies, but I believe that the consensus among scientists not paid by oil companies is that the rate of warming worldwide strongly indicates that the climate is changing in ways that are NOT part of a natural cycle. There may be a natural, self regulating cycle. Scientists now strongly believe that we’ve tipped the scales, and that nature’s self regulating system will not be able to cope with the added carbon.
I do think there are still legitimte questions to ask about global warming. Like I said before, we’ll never be 100% sure until after the fact. Also, we need to investigate what the effects of global warming will look like and what can be done about it. I have a feeling that the effects are going to be too gradual to alarm people, and that we will never have the political will to make any significant sacrifices to stop the process. We don’t even know if we CAN stop it. As it is, we’ll probably see a few more hurricanes every year, a little less rain on the plains, a few more forest fires, a little more flooding. Eventually our grandchildren will be asking what life was like before malaria came to Minnesota and before Disney World was an island. Is it true we used to be able to farm in Nebraska? They had ski areas in Vermont?
is therefore unlikely to be able to explain the recent warming.
Unlikely, not impossible. So it’s just a theory then.
I need to collect DougJ’s (intentionally ridiculous) comments for my “101 reasons why every undergraduate should read Hume”.
Tut tut Tim F. I cite the very news articles you cite, you try to slip in a ringer site.
Your quote is not from the NYT or LAT story but rather an advocacy site
Ironic since you bet me I could not “prove” my point without going to an advocacy site.
Keep your 10 bucks. You have given me the biggest laugh of the day.
For the underinformed, I said was: “Sun is getting hotter and the Antarctica is melting. Must be George Bush’s fault”
Gentle reminder John: The Surgeon General and the Attorney General are most definately two different people :-)
That would be me, and thanks.
Gosh, how convenient. When somebody else cited a TCSdaily article I gave it serious thought and responded to its substance. That’s called ‘intellectual integrity,’ give it a try.
How come we never hear the good news about the obesity epidemic?
And how come we never hear about the kids that aren’t obese? Someone should do a television show starring attractive, fit non-obese teens, just to let the public know they’re out there. It’s a wonder the WB hasn’t thought of this yet. They could have a big hit on their hands.
For the underinformed, I said was: “Sun is getting hotter and the Antarctica is melting. Must be George Bush’s fault”
Since you’ve repeated yourself, it can’t be by accident, so I’m going to point out:
It is “The Antarctic” or “Antarctica”. In the same way that you say “The United States” or “America”, but not “The America”.
Like intelligent design, global climate change is one of those wonderful issues that allows the bystander to quickly determine whether or not a commentator is an idiot.
Sure. I’ll hop on that bandwagon. It IS Georgie’s fault!
Glad you could clear that up for me Don.
Sstarr is right. We’re still talking about probabilities, but the probabilities are continuing to tilt more and more firmly in the direction of man-made global warming hving serious effects. And the problem has “inertia” — that is, it will be harder and harder to reverse — for two reasons.
First, it’s hard to pull excess CO2 back out of the air even after you stop putting more into it — it takes, I believe, an average of a century for a CO2 molecule put into the atmosphere to be removed from it again by natural processes, such as ingestion by plants. (It has now been pretty firmly established that plant growth will be only slightly stimulated by the man-made rise in CO2 because plants also need water and soil nutrients, which are NOT rising in quantity.) There are ideas now circulating for such things as tens of millions of large vats of chemicals spread over the Earth to try to cheaply absorb CO2 from the air and incorporate it into carbonate minerals, but it remains doubtful that we’ll be able to come up with an acceptably cheap way to make this work.
Second, the oceans can absorb tremendous amounts of excess heat energy from the atmosphere while themselves undergoing only a slight rise in temperature; but all the most recent indications are that they ARE now undergoing such a rise — which means that even if we stop producing more excess CO2 AND pull the existing excess out of the air, the oceans will serve as a radiator to keep the air abnormally warm for a century or more.
So: just as with a war, you continue acquiring as much intelligence as you can, and hope that the situation will turn out better than now appears likely — but you also damn well have to start making plans and taking some actions based on the information you already have, or you are very likely to be royally screwed.
Loved the article, loved the lede,
“Antarctica Surveys Show Melting Ice Is Causing Rising Sea Levels”
Read it over and over, it was so good.
So why wasn’t there a single word in it about how much these sea levels have risen?
Okay, I know of one way to solve this. I heard that Mars was getting hotter too. Did we put any temperature probes on Mars yet? I’m sure we have, and if we not, we should now. If Mars is getting the same temperature changes that we are, then we know it’s a sun thing. If not, then it’s a human thing.
Here is another idiot right winger trying to discredit global warming statistics (speaking of scs, thank you for proving my point).
OOOOOOOPPPPS! Contradicted himself in less than a page. Bad pseudo-intellectual! No treat for you! Now stop wetting yourself.
Oh, if you want the link to his disaster of a post:
First off, Mars doesn’t have an atmosphere, so the comparison would be somewhat invalid. It also only receives a percentage of the transmitted energy that Earth does, making the comparison that much more difficult. Mars, being further out, doesn’t get the effects of the radiation from sunspots/bursts that Earth does, either.
But when you attempt to simplify 2,000 years of a possible warming trend down into “lets just see if its getting hotter, too”, you really don’t even deserve any attention.
Yes, but it’s all relative Lines. If there is a comparable precentage increase, from Mars to Mars – not necessarily Mars degree to earth degree, then obviously it’s a solar trend. As to this ” Mars, being further out, doesn’t get the effects of the radiation from sunspots/bursts that Earth does, either”, I find that hihgly unlikely. I suspect you are just making that up and if not, I’ll need a link. Mars is pretty darn close to Earth in terms of a solar system range, and I find it unlikely that solar effects somehow dissipate somewhere between earth and Mars.
Let’s put it like this. If Mars DOES have a similar warming trend, then it definitely means global warming is solar caused. If there isn’t, it still is not proved it’s human caused, as one cause for warming is the earth’s shifts on it’s axis and orbit over thousands of years. So it’s not the end all be all, but it would still be an interesting measurement anyway.
Mars has an atmosphere. It’s not as dense an atmosphere as Earth’s, and it lacks breathable quantities of oxygen, but it’s definitely enough of an atmosphere to give Mars a changing climate (as anyone who’s watched Martian dust storms sweep across the planet’s surface can attest).
A big problem with your suggestion, scs, is that we simply don’t have anywhere near enough data on Martian weather. We don’t have Martian temperature measurements spanning decades, and if global warming on Earth is indeed primarily anthropogenic, we’ll be thoroughly cooked by the time we DO amass such long-term records of Martian climate.
Let’s put it like this. If Mars DOES have a similar warming trend, then it definitely means global warming is solar caused.
no it doesn’t. mars’ weather is complicated too, and it goes through warming and cooling cycles as well due to it’s wacky rotation and global climate. sometimes massive planet-wide duststorms will block out the sun for months and lower the temperature. sometimes the polar ice caps melt because mars’ rotation causes them to face the sun.
mars and earth are do not have the same mechanisms for warming and cooling, thus a comparison of the two would not necessarily show a common mechanism.
Mars DOES have an atmosphere — but an extremely thin one, whose mechanisms are so radically different from Earth’s that there’s no point in trying to compare them to obtain insight into global warming on Earth. The corect way to answer the question of whether an increase in solar output could be responsible for the current global warming is the direct way: measure the Sun’s output to find out whether it actually IS on the increase, and if so whether the resultant increase is adequate to explain the observed warming. The evidence on this reported so far in the science journals contnues to indicate that most of the current warming increase is NOT due to such a cause.
As an important side point, though: what this also proves is that we do need that new set of imminent climate-research satellites to try to nail down as quickly and firmly as possible just what the hell really IS going on. Last year the White House made a determined attempt to radically cut the funding for those — and while they were finally rebuffed by a Congressional majority, they did manage to delay the launch of several important ones by a year or so. Moreover, they did so despite the possibility that said satellites might actually confirm that the global-warming threat really IS a red herring. Shucks, one would think that they don’t actually CARE whether or not global warming is real. Couldn’t possibly be true, though. Could it?
SCS: “If Mars DOES have a similar warming trend, then it definitely means global warming is solar caused. If there isn’t, it still is not proved it’s human caused, as one cause for warming is the earth’s shifts on its axis and orbit over thousands of years. So it’s not the end all be all, but it would still be an interesting measurement anyway.”
SCS has just proven the exact opposite of what he intended. Earth’s changes in axial tilt are extremely small (never more than about 1.5 degrees) as well as being slow (cycles of roughly 100,000 years). Mars’ changes in axial tilt are tremendously faster due to the absence of a large stabilizing moon — as much as 30 degrees over about the same period of time as Earth — and, to the extent that there is some tentative evidence that its south polar cap may be losing some of its frozen carbon dioxide, it’s thought to be due to that fact. Its orbit is also far more lopsided than Earth’s, and so the effects of changes in that orbit, and in the orbit’s degree of synchronization with Mars’ seasonal cycles, are far greater.
On top of that, there is still some dispute over whether the supposed loss of frozen Martian CO2 is even occurring, as I found out a few weeks ago from an abstract for the upcoming Lunar and Planetary Sciences meeting.
Personally, I think this–
“First off, Mars doesn’t have an atmosphere”
All those eco-freaks producing HOT AIR and the polar ice caps melting on MARS dose it mean that MARVIN THE MARTIAN has a SUV?