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 Post subject: 900,000-year-old ice may destroy US case on Kyoto
PostPosted: Fri Apr 22, 2005 11:00 pm 
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900,000-year-old ice may destroy US case on Kyoto

Barbara McMahon in Rome and Paul Brown
Saturday April 23, 2005
The Guardian

An Italian expedition to the Antarctic has taken a sample of ice which is more than 900,000 years old and could give scientists evidence of past climate changes which would discredit global warming doubters.

The ice core, which is double the age of previous samples, will show how much carbon dioxide there was in the atmosphere during previous warm and cold phases in the climate and whether the current concentrations caused by burning fossil fuels are likely the lead to catastrophic global warming later this century.

The new core could be enough to discredit the fast diminishing band of climate sceptics, who have the ear of the Bush administration and who say that the climate has always fluctuated and man's destruction of forests and use of oil has nothing to do with the current rising temperatures and increased storminess across the world.

Ice cores contain layer after layer of snow which has fallen over millennia, and provide evidence of past climate in the same way as the growth rings of a tree. Once the tiny air samples trapped in the ice are analysed they will give scientists clear evidence of the volumes of gases and the temperature at the time.

Current scientific belief is that in all that time concentrations of greenhouse gases have not been as high as they are now, but the proof should be in these new ice cores.

President Bush used "uncertainties" in climate science, particularly the volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere during warm periods, to justify repudiating the Kyoto protocol when he was elected to office for the first time.

He said that cutting fossil fuel use would damage the US economy and that more scientific research was needed. Since then the science has become more certain, but this latest ice core could provide evidence that even hardliners would find hard to ignore.

World temperatures have risen in the past in direct relationship to the amount of greenhouse gases, mostly carbon dioxide and methane, in the air, but the new samples will enable scientists to analyse 10 to 12 glacial and interglacial cycles, compared with the four attained with the previous record holder, a 420,000-year-old ice core drilled by Russia's Ice Station Vostok five years ago.

Two chunks of ice were extracted, near the Italian-French ice station at Concordia on Antarctica's Dome C, the thickest ice sheet in the world, and in the Ross Sea. The first is some 900,000 years old.

Scientists now hope to reach the maximum attainable limit, taking samples that have been in existence for 1.5m years. These results of the European Project for Ice Coring in Antarctica (Epica) were made possible by drills able to penetrate some 3,000 metres below the surface of the polar ice cap.

Drilling started in 1996, and operations came to a close in 2004, with a final drill depth of 3,270.2 metres (10,730ft). The last stretch of coring was the hardest, with ice close to melting point.

Ten European nations took part: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Holland, UK, Sweden and Switzerland with national and European financing.

The nine specialists from France and Italy will end their mission next November. To minimise the impact of human presence in the Antarctic a new burning facility has been created. Dioxin and other toxic emissions were eliminated and solid waste can be burnt.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/climatechange ... 99,00.html


-Eva


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 24, 2005 4:16 am 
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Here's a little add-on, Eva:

Quote:
Climate change

Hundreds of Antarctic glaciers in retreat

AFP, PARIS

Apr 21: Scientists have issued a fresh warning about the effect of climate change on Antarctica, saying that more than 200 coastal glaciers are in retreat because of higher temperatures.

Of the 244 marine glaciers that drain inland ice on the Antarctic peninsula, a region previously identified as vulnerable to global warming, 87 percent have fallen back over the last half century, according to research by British experts.

Using 2,000 aerial photos dating back to the late 1940s and 100 satellite pictures, experts from the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) compiled a record of glacier-ice shelves and tidewater glaciers along the peninsula-the tongue of land that juts 800 kilometres (500 miles) northwards out of continental Antarctica.

Glacier-ice shelves are floating glaciers on the shoreline that are still connected to the land glaciers from which they flowed.

Tidewater glaciers rest on rock and break off into the ocean when they reach the water's edge.

Over the last half century, during which time regional temperatures have risen by around 2 C (3.6 F), these glacier fronts have reversed direction, the authors note in a study published on Friday in the US weekly journal Science.

Until the mid-1950s, most of the glaciers advanced. For the next decade after that, they were roughly stable. Since then, though, most have been shrinking.

In the past five years, the retreat has accelerated, and the pattern of retreat is widening. It started in the warmer northern tip of the peninsula and is heading progressively to the colder south as atmospheric temperatures rise.

"Fifty years ago, 62 percent of the glaciers that flowed down from the mountains to the sea we looked at were slowly growing in length, but since then this pattern has reversed," said lead author Alison Cook.

The average retreat of the 212 shrinking glaciers has been 600 metres (yards) over 50 years.

But this does not take into account a dramatic acceleration in recent years, exposing numerous islands that were once ice-smothered.

Sjogren Glacier, at the northern tip of the peninsula has fallen back eight kilometres (8.5 miles) since 1993, while Widdowson Glacier, on the west coast of the peninsula, has been retreated at 1.1 kms (0.6 miles) per year over the past five year.

As for the cause, the BAS team caution against a leap to judgement.

At present, it is unclear that the man-made "greenhouse effect"-the burning of fossil fuels which disgorged carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, trapping solar heat-is entirely to blame, they say.

They note that over the past 50 years, a minority (32) of glaciers has grown, by an average of 300 metres (yards), and that key data on local ocean temperatures and circulation remain scarce.

Antarctica's geology is split into three main regions: East Antarctica, which comprises the bulk of the continent; West Antarctica, which has two huge ice shelves on either side; and the Antarctic Peninsula, which juts out of West Antarctica.

Previous research had already identified the peninsula as a vulnerable "hot spot" for global warming, although the reasons for this are debatable.

In February, BAS researcher Chris Rapley presented evidence that ice flows into the Southern Ocean from three big inland glaciers were accelerating, spurred by the loss of the vital shelves of floating glacial ice at the coast.

Like a cork released from a bottle, the lost shelves let the icy river flow swiftly into the sea, causing sea levels to rise by some 1.8 mm (0.07 inches) per year.

The new study repeats that warning, although without giving figures. It says the erosion of floating glacier ice could spur glacier flow from inland and "make a substantial contribution" to rising sea levels.

Antarctica, the fifth largest continent in the world, contains more than 90 percent of the world's ice, most of it above sea level.

If even a small part of this cap melts, rising sea levels could drown low- lying island states, cities and deltas.


Link: http://independent-bangladesh.com/news/ ... ap.htm#A10

Catherine

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PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 9:25 am 
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actually, i read a report a while back that the pentagon was drawing up plans to deal with future problems stemming from rising ocean waters.

they forsaw masses of people forced to leave their country and move into one nearby. now, imagine the problems that would result from that. just for example, imagine if the mediterranean sea rose and the palestines had to move to higher ground (israel), or, if some asian country had to move to another....you get the picture.

they expected wars, famine, etc etc and were devising plans on how to deal with that scenario. i read it on msn a while ago, but never gave it too much thought.

so, if the military is thinking...........


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 Post subject: Re: 900,000-year-old ice may destroy US case on Kyoto
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2005 8:47 pm 
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Eva wrote:

Ten European nations took part: Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Holland, UK, Sweden and Switzerland with national and European financing.


The Bushista Cabal will never go for it... They never listen to "Old Europe".

Eva wrote:
The nine specialists from France and Italy will end their mission next November. To minimise the impact of human presence in the Antarctic a new burning facility has been created. Dioxin and other toxic emissions were eliminated and solid waste can be burnt.


Ha! France! Evil Secular Humanist Traitors!
This post is not meant for the Sarcasm Impaired

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