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Editorial Science

Capitalizing on Melting Polar Ice 505

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the 05ers-just-doesn't-have-the-same-ring dept.
efuzzyone writes "As an affect of global warming, the polar ice caps seem to be slowly receding, what do you do? The NYT reports it is a gold rush, 'the Arctic is undergoing nothing less than a great rush for virgin territory and natural resources worth hundreds of billions of dollars.' Also, 'polar thaw is also starting to unlock other treasures: lucrative shipping routes, perhaps even the storied Northwest Passage; new cruise ship destinations; and important commercial fisheries.'"
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Capitalizing on Melting Polar Ice

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  • Yep (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:35PM (#13799855)
    I can hear Pres. Bush's spin on it now: "...Just imagine the further untapped resources we could discover by not joining the Kyoto agreement."
    • Re:Yep (Score:3, Informative)

      It was President Clinton who first refused to agree to the Kyoto Protocols. Another fact, left out so you could take a cheap shot on the President. Oh well.
      • Re:Yep (Score:5, Informative)

        by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @09:57PM (#13800512) Journal
        Actually, the Kyoto treaty was unanimously rejected by the senate. See Senate Resolution 98 (1997).

        -jcr
      • Re:Yep (Score:4, Informative)

        by TheDracle (836105) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:33PM (#13800648)
        http://www.environmentaldefense.org/pressrelease.c fm?ContentID=499 [environmentaldefense.org]

        It's easy to overlook 'facts' when they are in reality fiction.

        In reality Clinton's administration negotiated, supported, and he personally eventually signed the Kyoto protocol.

        "Former President Clinton's vice president, Al Gore, negotiated the treaty for the United States and had a major role in its final form."

        According to Wikipedia:
        "On June 25, 1997, before the Kyoto Protocol was to be negotiated, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95-0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". On November 12, 1998, Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. Aware of the Senate's view of the protocol, the Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol for ratification."

        The criticism is that Bush doesn't support the Kyoto protocol. If Clinton commanded a congress with a dominant Democrat majority, as Bush commands a Republican majority, the Kyoto protocol would have passed under his administration.

        His administration undeniably supported the Kyoto protocol.

        It seems very strange for me to hear conservatives, which I'm sure you undeniably are, cry foul at simply criticizing the policy of the Bush administration. The only way you could find these criticisms innately negative, is if you agreed that the policy they criticize is innately negative. Clinton suffered an array of actual 'shots' that had nothing to do with his policy, by 24 hour cable news networks, and independent councils; working full time to dig up information on fabricated crimes he supposedly committed (yet predictably never yielded anything substantial).
        • Re:Yep (Score:5, Insightful)

          by maelstrom (638) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @11:49PM (#13800915) Homepage Journal
          "U.S. Senate unanimously passed by a 95-0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. Res. 98), which stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory ... "

          "If Clinton commanded a congress with a dominant Democrat majority, as Bush commands a Republican majority, the Kyoto protocol would have passed under his administration."

          Please explain to me this contradiction. Or are you saying that there was 95 Republicans in the Senate and 5 Democrats?

    • Sure, but just imagine if we find drillable oil there! :-D
    • by Agarax (864558)
      If all the effort everyone is putting into Kyoto was instead directed into deploying current Feul Cell technology a good portion of the problem would go away.

      Instead we have whiney Euro politicians who want to appease their Green parties and stick it to the Americans, while avoiding fulfiling their obligations as much as humanly possible.

      International Treaties aren't worth the paper they are written on.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @09:27PM (#13800357) Homepage Journal
        No, we've got Euro politicians and businesses who accepted Kyoto - without "ruining their economies". Now they're ahead of us in conservation and development of alternative energy. Although we Americans are whining (well, *you* are, anyway) while we drag everyone else down with our pollution.

        The worst American politician whiner was Bush, who whined "we'll give you something better than Kyoto" when he rejected it. Just another lie from Bush, who has given us nothing but tax rebates on SUVs that did nothing but further break the environment, and even break the American carmakers' future sales, driving them to the brink of bankruptcy.

        Just to complete your Bushwacko rhetoric, your "aren't worth the paper they're printed on" was Bush's comment about our Social Security "lockbox" that he looted, referring to the debt he owes us to finance his $3TRILLION annual budget, his $45TRILLION in committed debt. When, in fact, those Social Security debts, backed by US Treasury Bills, are by law the highest priority debt obligation of the US government. Bush is talking about defaulting on America's $TRILLIONS in debt, which would do for our country what he's been doing to the economy and the environment. And you're happily parroting his insane talking points. You really deserve the ecocaust you're courting. But I don't.
        • What's the unemployment rate in Germany? The GDP growth of France? If Europe keeps going the way it is going, then, the US will surpass the EU in absolute GDP within 5 years.

          Besides, Kyoto is fatally flawed because it seeks to manage the atmosphere by controlling emissions, rather than by mandating or establishing a carbon sink. And its a consumer pays treaty, not a producer pays treaty, so the USA would have to foot the bill, when OPEC should be.
          • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @09:42AM (#13803193) Homepage Journal
            That's a conveniently odd mix of economic policies in your post. For one, Europe's economy hasn't changed for the worse by executing Kyoto - those problems already existed. If all the doomsaying about Kyoto in the US were accurate, following it with their already weak economy would have absolutely destroyed them. The lesson is that the US, with its stronger economy, is even better positioned to execute Kyoto - and even more of a producer of benefits, as we produce most of the damage that would be cut. Then compare your capitalist view of Europe's plight with your socialist view of who should pay to reduce Greenhouse accumulations. Not exactly consistent economically, but certainly consistent politically, protecting the US from accepting consequences of our pollution production.

            Kyoto has controls for both emissions and sinks. One reason Russia embraced it is that Russia does produce quite a lot of carbon fuels (they've got the world's largest reserves), but also has the largest area that can be reforested. They're in the carbon sink business. But the problem with your plan, which they'd favor, is that emphasizing the sink now more than the emissions would pass all that pollutiuon through the atmosphere. Like protecting polluters from liability as long as they clean it up later - or someone cleans it up later. Like exonerating a thief if they give back their loot when they're done using it.

            Kyoto isn't the best, or last, solution to Greenhouse pollution. But it's better than nothing. The US has embraced nothing as our solution. Which is unacceptable, especially as Bush lied about responding to Kyoto with "something better", which he has certainly not. So Kyoto isn't good enough - it gets us all started, and gives us something to learn from. It's a global industrial policy, with our civilization's survival hanging in the balance. We've already squandered a decade ignoring it here, where we can best execute it for maximum benefit, so we have that much more ground to make up. Many scientists warn that the tipping point, beyond which accommodations like Kyoto won't be enough, might pass within a decade. It's certainly far too late to make procrastinating arguments for doing nothing, that merely build our polluting industries. We've got to do something to save ourselves, while we argue about what better we can do with the time that Kyoto has bought. Europe is making us look stupid, though we're doing at least half of the work to do so.
        • Dammit.... (Score:3, Funny)

          by mormop (415983)
          So you've finally worked it out, the truth being that your president is really Robobush !!!! (You'll have to imagine some dramatic chords). Yes it's true people of America, Robobush was made in secret by Jaque chirac and gerhard schroeder and deployed in place of the real GWB to cripple US science, pollute your air, get your schools teaching that the world was created by a spaghetti Monster, God , whatever, and piss your economy away on sending soldiers all over the world.

          The only clues were that sometimes
    • Re:Yep (Score:2, Funny)

      by SnarfQuest (469614)
      If he would just sign it, then we can save the mars ice-caps! They are obviously being destroyed by American SUV's polluting the Martian atmosphere! And by the lack of Pirates! Until the Koyoto protocol includes a method to increase the number of pirates in the world, it will never be able to solve global warming!
  • and, (Score:5, Funny)

    by Hawthorne01 (575586) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:36PM (#13799863)
    beachfront property in Sacramento!
    • Nah (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:42PM (#13799903)
      Sacramento is in the middle of a valley with a big river (coincidentally *also* called Sacramento) running through it. If anything, Sacramento will be on the bottom of the California Archipelago's Great Central Sea.
    • Sacramento will be at the bottom of the new Tethys Sea. It's been a long time since the San Jouquin valley was a salt water sea, but it may not be long before it is again. It all depends on just how much ice melts.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:36PM (#13799868)
    When the air gets too polluted to breathe, I'll finally be able to make my money selling oxygen franchises! I love the free market!
  • Wow! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by springbox (853816) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:37PM (#13799871)
    polar thaw is also starting to unlock other treasures: lucrative shipping routes, perhaps even the storied Northwest Passage; new cruise ship destinations; and important commercial fisheries

    With all of these benefits who cares about preventing damage to our environment?!</sarcasm>

    • Re:Wow! (Score:4, Informative)

      by operagost (62405) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @09:38PM (#13800407) Homepage Journal
      If you look at the temperature trends for the Arctic region since 1880, it appears that the Arctic generally warmed somewhat until about 1938. From 1938 until about 1966, the Arctic cooled to about its 1918 temperature level. Then, between 1966 and 2003, the Arctic warmed up to just shy of its 1938 temperature. But in 2004, the Arctic temperature again spiked downward.

      Now if the 1880-1938 warming trend had continued up until this day, there certainly would be some significant warming in the Arctic region to talk about. From 1918 to 1938, alone, the Arctic warmed by 2.5 degrees Centigrade. But the actual temperature trend is much different, showing that there's been hardly any overall temperature change in the Arctic since 1938.

      Not only does the temperature data contradict the claim that global warming is overtaking the Arctic, but data on greenhouse gas concentrations ought to drive a spike through the heart of the claim.

      During the warming period from 1880 to 1938, it's estimated that the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide - the bugbear of greenhouse gases to global warming worriers - increased by an estimated 20 parts per million. But from 1938 to 2003 - a period of essentially no increase in Arctic warming - the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide increased another 60 parts per million. It doesn't seem plausible, then, that Arctic temperatures are significantly influenced by atmospheric levels of greenhouse gases.

      And even when the Arctic re-warmed between 1966 and 2003, the warming occurred much less aggressively (about 50 percent less) than the 1918-1938 warming and at about the same rate as the period 1880-1938, despite much higher greenhouse gas levels in the 1966-2003 time frame.
      See article here [foxnews.com].
      Especially take note of this chart [junkscience.com]
    • Good Point... (Score:3, Insightful)

      by physicsphairy (720718)
      ... whether or not you intended to make it.

      The right way to judge a situation is not emotionally, or sentimentally, but through cost-benefit analysis. As an example, I'm afraid that environment==good :. kyoto == good is simply not a logical assertion. First of all, the environment is not intrinsically worthy... what makes a bunch of carbon atoms organized as molecular skeletons any more important than carbon atoms organized as a rock? You would be hard pressed to come up with a formula. Sentience on t

  • Great. (Score:5, Funny)

    by Sebby (238625) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:37PM (#13799872)
    "lucrative shipping routes, perhaps even the storied Northwest Passage; new cruise ship destinations; and important commercial fisheries."

    Great. Add more pollution to the area. Just what it needs! :)

     
  • And thats not all (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Don_Casper (923158) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:39PM (#13799879)
    Not to mention the rising waters flooding pacific islands. Good trade off, cruise destinations in the pacific get flooded, and cruise destinations in the polar region open up.
    • by amightywind (691887) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:23PM (#13800110) Journal

      Not to mention the rising waters flooding pacific islands. Good trade off, cruise destinations in the pacific get flooded, and cruise destinations in the polar region open up.

      Ever wonder why many Pacific islands are at sea level? Most are volcanoes eroded to sea level. They become atolls through processes of erosion and a buildup of calcium carbonate that form a ring around the eroded ediface. As sea level rises deposition by coral will equalize with rising sea level. Indeed, flooding by major storms is the *only* mechanism where new material is deposited above sea level at all! This is not new. It has going for the last 12000 years since the end of the last ice age as sea level has risen several meters. So relax, the Pacific islands aren't going anywhere. Why do people discard rational thought when discussing the Kyoto treaty?

      • by KwKSilver (857599) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:54PM (#13800720)
        Have little effect on sea level. It is floating already. However, if the Greenland and Antarctic ice caps melt, there will be a serious increase in mean sea level. Greenland meltdown is estimated to yield about 7m (circa 23 feet) rise in sea level according to this [bbc.co.uk]. Should the Antarctic cap go as well, sea level would increase over 70m (about 230ft) according to this [www.hi.is] source. Seven meters puts me on the beach, 70+ meters puts me in the position of having to breath water, which I've yet to succeed at..
      • Flooded = gone (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dire Bonobo (812883) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @11:31PM (#13800837)
        >>> cruise destinations in the pacific get flooded
        >
        > So relax, the Pacific islands aren't going anywhere.

        But anything built on them or growing on them will be going away if/when they get flooded.

        The islands may indeed catch up to even something like a 5m rise in sea level, but even if it's in such a ridiculously short time as 100 years, that means (a) they cease to exist as islands for the near future, (b) they're scoured of all terrestrial life, and (c) all buildings and equipment on the islands are destroyed.

        In other words, the islands are gone, at least as far as current human use of them is concerned. Witness what 5m of flooding did to New Orleans in just 3 weeks.

        > Why do people discard rational thought when discussing the Kyoto treaty?

        A fine question indeed.
      • by choongiri (840652) on Sunday October 16, 2005 @12:53AM (#13801314) Homepage Journal
        Tuvalu [wikipedia.org] has a plan to evacuate their entire population over the next 10 years. The country will cease to exist.
        Why do people discard rational thought when discussing the Kyoto treaty?
        You tell me.
  • After reading the title, was U.S. and Halliburton.

    (I live in U.S.)
  • Pirates? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward
    Let's all hope the gold will attract more pirates!
  • How ironic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Pinball Wizard (161942) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:42PM (#13799891) Homepage Journal
    that global warming would lead to new oil discoveries.
  • DONT FEEL RIGHT (Score:3, Insightful)

    by ICEcalibur (923176) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:42PM (#13799893)
    "Also, 'polar thaw is also starting to unlock other treasures: lucrative shipping routes, perhaps even the storied Northwest Passage" I think the melting ice will unlock a treasure all right....and its a treasure that we should bother looking for....like pandoras box..???
  • Anyone.. (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Turn-X Alphonse (789240) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:50PM (#13799937) Journal
    Anyone else feel sick when you read things like this? If the human race is that fucking stupid then we deserve to drown in the flood we'll end up making. Saddly a handful will probably survive it.. most likely the rich ones who can aford to hoard boats, food and drinkable water...

    Money : Because killing 6 billion people just to make some more was so worth it, now that it's totally useless because everyones dead and paper has no use when it's already doodled on.
    • Re:Anyone.. (Score:3, Funny)

      by icepick72 (834363)
      Wow, it's going to be just like the movie Waterworld. A lot of people said that movie sucks, but obviously it holds the keys to survival in the future. I'm going out to buy my copy right now, along with the other 4 billion of you. Who knew! Maybe even Duke Nukem forever will provide useful information ... if it arrives in time.
      • Re:Anyone.. (Score:5, Informative)

        by Yorrike (322502) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:24PM (#13800117) Homepage Journal
        Having almost finished a geology degree (3 exams to go), I've run through the exercise of calculating exactly how high the ocean would go if the ice caps melted many a time.

        Here's the thing, if there's more water, there's more weight on the crust, which will subside a bit. Cutting a long story short and without explaining the ins and outs of crustal isostasy, if your house, water source and farmland is above 75m in elevation, you'll be alright.

        Otherwise, to quote Tool's very appropriate song Aenima, learn to swim.

        • And probably not quite all the ice will melt...so it won't even be that bad (though you are ignoring time delays in the cycle, earthquakes, bounce, etc.).

          This means that all you'll need to worry about is your neighbors who used to live lower on the hill deciding to move into your house. There'll probably be just about as much land area as ever...but it'll be in different places, and already claimed by someone.

          You're essentially right, though. If this were happening slowly enough, there wouldn't be any pro
        • Perhaps you can explain to us how the arctic ice, floating in the ocean, could raise the sea level by melting?

          Everyone else reading this can go grab some ice cubes, put them in a glass, and fill it to the brim with water, and watch as it DOES NOT OVERFLOW when the ice is melted.

          Eureka, d00d.
          • Consider the ice at the poles as out of the glass. Look up tidal bulge, the total volume of water does not include the water frozen at the poles. Once melted or melting on the oceans the effect of that extra volume of water will be the ice cubes dumped into a full glass.
          • Re:Anyone.. (Score:4, Informative)

            by jcr (53032) <jcrNO@SPAMmac.com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:09PM (#13800567) Journal
            Perhaps you can explain to us how the arctic ice, floating in the ocean, could raise the sea level by melting?

            The floating ice won't. It's the ice that's deposited on land (Antarctica, Greenland, Northern Canada, etc.) that will.

            -jcr

    • Waterworld wasn't a documentary about the future. It was fiction.

      Even if the icecaps melt, the planet will not be underwater.

      • Re:Anyone.. (Score:2, Interesting)

        The whole planet won't, but a lot of it will which means land will be extremely rare compared to today. No one but the rich will be able to aford it, all the poor countries will be the worst hit. Look at the recent flood in America.. now think of that flood was in one of the African slums where they can hardly eat.

        If this does all goto hell then the entire eco system will change. Storms will be 10 times worse, the heat will be deadly.. Does it matter if we drown, die in a storm or heat stroke? Either way th
        • Re:Anyone.. (Score:5, Insightful)

          by CastrTroy (595695) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @09:00PM (#13800239) Homepage
          Look at the recent flood in America.. now think of that flood was in one of the African slums where they can hardly eat.

          Kind of like that tsunami that hit indonesia a little while back. Tons of devastation, killed over 100,000 people. Wikipedia reports only 1200 deaths from hurricane katrina. Only 2000 US soldiers have died in Iraq. 200,000 Allied soldiers died during the battle of normandy. Americans don't even remember what real devastation is, and some have never ever experienced it. At least not first hand. They hear about it on the news, but it's hard to relate to pictures on a tv screen. Maybe this is why so many people forget how vulnerable we are. Because in the last 50 years, there has been very little in terms of real devastation.
      • Re:Anyone.. (Score:3, Interesting)

        by CastrTroy (595695)
        But what would happen, billions of years in the future, once all the ice melts, and all the land erodes to a point where it's pretty much all flat, and therefore water does cover the entire surface? I wonder how long it would take for this to happen, or if it could ever happen, because land would be recreated by shifting techtonic plates, and volcanos and such.
    • Agreed.

      It seems that advances in technology and the economy haven't been matched by the necessary advances in consciousness. Of course there is an intentional dumbing down of the population to make all this go down easier, but you still have to lay some blame at the people's feet - considering they think we live in a 'democracy'.
    • Just like the Indian/Pakistan fight over the Kashmir mountains - they stretch themselves to the limit fighting for ownership of the most inaccessible location in their continent, and then get wiped out when there's an earthquake.
    • Now hold on just a moment there. While the likely environmental changes to the environment are terrible, they're not that bad.

      Six billion people dead? As another replier commented, that much land simply won't be lost. We won't be stuck in Water World, and while things will change there will still be enormous amounts of land left.

      Your statements have no basis in fact. You may be interested to know that one of the big problems global warming will cause is not in fact floods, but droughts as places like China
  • by Anonymous Coward
    This kinda reminds me of the simpson episode where bart finds a three eyed fish in the stream by the power plant. Mr. Burns decides to run for office and starts trumping up how good the three eyed fish is for the enviroment and is better to eat yada yada yada.
  • by britneys 9th husband (741556) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:51PM (#13799946) Homepage Journal
    Great, I can fulfill my lifelong dream of going on a cruise from the Yukon to Siberia. Meanwhile, all the good cruise ship destinations will be closed off because hurricane season will last 10 months.
    • hurricane season will last 10 months

      Works for me. Better surf to ride, more often. Let the damn condos go down in a cat V eyewall. The debris field might create a nice new reef with a fair decent wave breaking across it. With any luck at all, this Florida land boom will get snuffed out by hurricanes just like the last one did way back in the 20's. I've lived here all my life, but I'm not stupid enough to own any property. Let the sea level rise and take it all back. Fuckem. I'll just pack light and step ba

  • by incom (570967) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @07:54PM (#13799957)
    Maybe my acres of permafrosted land around hudson's bay weren't such a bad investment afterall! Drive those SUV's boys, I want palms and bannana trees in my scenery!
  • Lemmings for sale (Score:2, Insightful)

    by sp3298622 (800612)
    Capitalism on the arctic can be a risky venture. When you bring in companies that are established to deliver on share holders profit, it is hard to guess what kind of a route these companies might take. Without clear laws and regulations limiting how companies exploit this new "gold mine" we might end up with something like the US Patent laws, where large corporations take advantage of the ability to patent anything they can think about. I the arctic scenario this could lead to fishing companies endangering
  • by xiphoris (839465) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:04PM (#13800014) Homepage
    Affect and effect are both nouns and both verbs, but the one you wanted was "effect".

    An effect (n) is something that happens as a result of some action.

    To effect (v) a change is to cause a change to occur.

    A affect (n) is a feeling or emotion you feel.

    To affect (v) something is to change it through your actions. To affect something is to effect a change in it. :)

    Being the intelligent people we are, with great precision in our computer languages, let's not ride the wave of many technologists who believe they are too good to condescend to write English properly. Strive to do well in all things.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Those who deny global warming are just so predictable.

    First they say "there is no such thing as global warming."
    Then they say "there is no proof that there is global warming."
    Now they say "there is no proof that global warming is bad."
    And they say "look, global warming is good!"
    Soon they'll say "there is no proof that God didn't make this happen."
    Then they'll say "it's written right here in the book that this will happen."
    Then they'll say "it's one more reason to believe. God works in strange a
  • by Hamster Lover (558288) * on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:05PM (#13800019) Journal
    Canada considers the Artic to be an internal water way and as such maintains dominion over all shipping in the area. The U.S., no surprise, considers the area to be international waters. As the ice recedes and the fabled Northwest Passage becomes a reality look for increased tension between the United States and Canada over control of shipping in the area (like we need more tension than already exists).

    Unfortunately, Canada will probably roll over and let the U.S. have it's way on the sovereignty issue as we've done in the past when the U.S. ice breaker Polar Sea transited the Northwest Passage in 1985.
  • Eep (Score:5, Funny)

    by thegnu (557446) <thegnu&gmail,com> on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:06PM (#13800021) Journal
    'polar thaw is also starting to unlock other treasures: lucrative shipping routes, perhaps even the storied Northwest Passage

    Primarily, this will open up trades route with Hell, which incidentally is short on handbaskets.
  • Pretty rocks. (Score:5, Informative)

    by jericho4.0 (565125) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @08:21PM (#13800101)
    I live in the Selkirk range in BC. Every summer the glaciers retreat a little further, and I've been making a point of trying to explore some of this newly uncovered land. I have found lots of pretty crystals and other mineral samples.

    Still, global warming is not a plus for me. The ski season is getting shorter :-(

    • Still, global warming is not a plus for me. The ski season is getting shorter :-(

      Well, down here in Arizona, we just had the best ski season of my whole life. It shat snow from October to May, a total of 459 inches for the year [webweevers.com] last season, and they've already had their first snowfall of the 2005-06 season. Our drought has finally broken.

      If this be global warming, give me more, please. Selkirks be damned.

      -ccm

  • by CDPatten (907182)
    When the northern ice caps melt then the cold water starts to cool the ocean, and there would be fewer hurricanes. That is what the environmentalists told us all during the 80's and 90's. How come we have had the terrible hurricanes this year and last... Why is it happening if the ice caps are melting? How about explaining Antarctica's glaciers getting larger? http://www.newscientist.com/article.ns?id=dn1806 [newscientist.com]

    They also said we created the hole in the ozone; however in 2004 the hole in the ozone was record
    • by Jeremi (14640)
      I just wish you guys would preface all your "we are killing the earth" talk with, hey we really don't know, but we THINK "we are killing the earth". I certainly will ay I don't know for sure, but the evidence isn't cut and dry in your favor.

      The other day I thought my wife was having a heart attack, but hey I don't really know that, I only THINK that's what was happening. I'm going to wait a few more days to see what happens, and then I'll decide if it's worthwhile to take her to the hospital. After all,

    • by Coryoth (254751) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @10:31PM (#13800635) Homepage Journal
      First of all, let's be clear: we are facing warming. Using proxy data from a variety of sources such as tree rings and ice cores it is possible to calculate some decent estimates of global temperatures over the last ten thousand years or so. There are obvious cycles, and a fair amount of fluctuation, but current temperatures represent a significant upswing - that is acceleration - in warming over the last century or so.

      Given that, the question of causes remains. Volvano activity certainly throws out a lot of C02, around one hundred and thirty to two hundred and thirty million metric tons a year [wikipedia.org]. In comparison the US produces around five billion metric tonnes a year by itself [wikipedia.org] convincingly dwarfing volcanic output. You also point the finger at solar activity, claiming it is ignored - it isn't. As you point out the IPCC includes it in their considerations and found, depending on the model used, that it accounted for effects of sixteen to thirty six percent that of those caused by CO2 and other greenhouse emissions [wikipedia.org]. There are questions as to how well solar activity actually correlates with global temperature [newscientist.com] as well, so it's an open topic.

      On the other side of things: Our present understanding of physics is fairly unequivocal that CO2 and other gases can cause warming by trapping heat. Using ice cores and other methods to reconstruct historical CO2 levels we find that CO2 correlates extremely well with global temperature. We also find that CO2 levels have spiked beyond anything in recent history (recent history being the last four hundred thousand years) in just the last 150 years - again correlating extremely well with the recent acceleration in warming. Given the extremely good correlations and the clear reasons to believe in causation (which is to say, physics) it would seem that the burden of proof should fall to those who suggest human CO2 emissions are not having a significant impact on global temperatures.

      Are we killing the earth? I doubt it - I expect the earth will simply get warmer and keep on going. The question is: are we making life for ourselves much harder and much more costly, and is that preventable? There is strong evidence that human CO2 emissions are having a significant impact on climate, and that is certainly the cause over which we have the most direct influence. It makes sense to do something about it if we can.

      Jedidiah.
  • Wow more unsustainable "resources" show up everyday due to the destruction on other non-sustainable resources.
    Amazing, how stoopid humans are, we just deserve to be eradicated.
    • Amazing, how stoopid humans are, we just deserve to be eradicated.

      You first. If it's such a good idea, what are you waiting for?

      -ccm

  • Imagine owning all that pristine beachfront property... submerged under 35 feet of sealevel raised by the melting runoff from the Antarctic and Greenland.
  • Looks like it's a good time to start investing in property along the picturesque Arizona Bay.
  • Hey, so what if its a tragedy with massive implications, lets make a profit off it!
  • by heroine (1220) on Saturday October 15, 2005 @09:37PM (#13800400) Homepage
    It's commonly agreed that if Earth was warmer, humans would be better off while many animals would go extinct. Most of the argument now is about how creatures which can't evolve as fast as humans would suffer and less about how humans would suffer because everyone's settled that humans would just evolve out of any problems.

    Humans would have to give up their multi billion dollar coastal mansions and their riverboat gambling. Eskimos would have to get real jobs instead of living off welfare in the middle of nowhere. Antarctic scientists would have to shift to rainforest studies. There wouldn't be any more arctic polar bears.

    On the other side, we'd consume much less energy for heating. 1000 less marines would die every year extracting heating oil from terrorists. Russia and Canadia would become inhabitable.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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