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Antarctic iceberg sinks cruise ship

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:39 PM GMT on November 27, 2007

The November 2007 sinking of the cruise ship MS Explorer after it hit an iceberg in Antarctic waters is a reminder that the Antarctic is a dangerous place to sail. Ever since British explorer Ernest Shackleton's ship Endurance met its end when it become trapped and crushed in pack ice near Antarctica, the Antarctic waters have been a notoriously dangerous place for boats. For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Shackleton's ill-fated expedition, I highly recommend a reading of The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition. The book details the most mind-blowing tale of survival and courage I have ever read. Shackleton's phenomenal leadership skills saved the lives of all of his men. Shackleton refused to sleep for over 30 consecutive days while leading his men in an arduous months-long trek over the treacherous Antarctic sea ice. His voyage to find help using an open boat in winter on the storm-tossed Scotia Sea may rank as the greatest navigation feat of all time.

Figure 1. Antarctic sea ice (purple colors) at the time the MS Explorer hit an iceberg and sank. Summer is approaching in the Southern Hemisphere, leading to melting and break up of the sea ice and plenty of icebergs. Image credit: University of Illinois Cryosphere Today.

Why talk about Antarctic sea ice?
You hear a lot of talk about Arctic sea ice, but not about Antarctic sea ice. That's because Antarctic sea ice is relatively unimportant to the Earth's climate. Antarctica is a huge continent that rises thousands of feet above the ocean. It holds about 90% of the world's fresh water, locked up in its massive ice cap. The presence of such a titanic block of ice at the bottom of the world completely dominates the weather and climate of the region, and the year-to-year fluctuations of sea ice don't have a lot of impact on temperatures there.

The other reason to ignore Antarctic sea ice is that it hasn't changed much over the historical record. A look at the sea ice coverage since 1978 (Figure 2) shows very little change. Climate skeptics have pointed out that Antarctic sea ice has been near its maximum area the past few winters. However, this is not considered statistically significant, and there is no overall trend apparent in the data.

However, Antarctic sea ice may be important because of its ability to insulate and buttress glaciers and semi-permanent ice shelves along the coast. Recent melting of sea ice due to warming temperatures along the Antarctic Peninsula allowed warming ocean waters to penetrate close to shore, triggering the collapse of the Larsen B Ice Shelf in 2002. This Rhode Island-sized chunk of ice had been around thousands of years, and disintegrated in just three days. Any decline of Antarctic sea ice in coming decades might cause a speedier retreat of the continent's glaciers and ice shelves.

Figure 2. Antarctic sea ice area as observed via satellite since 1978. The maximum area in winter has ranged between 14-16 million square kilometers, about the same amount of ocean that the Arctic ice covers in winter. However, the Antarctic sea ice almost entirely melts away in summer, something the Arctic sea ice does not do (yet). Image credit: University of Illinois Cryosphere Today.

Antarctic cooling
What is significant is the fact that most of Antarctica cooled in recent decades (Figure 3). For example, the surface temperature at the South Pole cooled 0.05° C between 1980 and 1999 (Kwok and Comiso, 2002). However, the majority of Antarctica has shown no statistically significant warming over the past 50 years (Turner et al., 2005)--the cooling has just been over the past 25-30 years. In the period 2004-2007, much of the Antarctic warmed (Figure 4). Why did Antarctica cool between 1982 and 2004 if there was global warming going on?

Well, the globe, on average, has warmed about 1.1° F (0.65° C) in the 50 years ending in 2005 (IPCC, 2007). Given that there is a lot of natural variability in the climate, it should be expected that some areas of the globe would not see warming, given the relatively modest magnitude of global warming thus far.

Figure 3. Antarctic surface temperatures as observed via AHVRR satellite measurements between 1982 and 2004. Much of Antarctica cooled during this period. Image credit: IPCC The Physical Science Basis, Figure 3.32.

Figure 4. Antarctic surface temperatures as observed via AHVRR satellite measurements between 1981 and 2007. Note that the cooling trend observed from 1982-2004 has reversed, thanks to warming in the past few years. Image credit: NASA

In addition, the weather of the Antarctic is dominated by a strong band of westerly winds that blow around the pole. This circumpolar vortex extends from the surface to the stratosphere, and can attain very high wind speeds, thanks to the absence of large land masses to slow it down. This vortex tends to isolate Antarctica from the rest of the globe, keeping global warming from influencing Antarctica weather, and allowing the surface to cool. The Antarctic Peninsula, which sticks out from Antarctica towards South America, frequently lies outside the vortex. This has allowed the peninsula to warm significantly, compared to the rest of Antarctica (Figures 3 and 4). The Antarctic circumpolar vortex has strengthened in the past 25-30 years, forming an even stronger barrier than usual. Tree ring records (Jones and Widman, 2004) suggest that the circumpolar vortex has shown similar strengthening in the past, so the current cooling trend in Antarctica may be partly a natural cycle.

Another possibility, favored by climate modelers, is that the strengthening of the circumpolar vortex and recent cooling in Antarctica are primarily due to a combination of the recent increase in greenhouse gases and the opening of the Antarctic ozone hole. The ozone hole opened up at about the same time as the recent cooling began. Ozone absorbs UV radiation which heats the atmosphere around it, so the absence of ozone has led to cooling in the stratosphere over Antarctica. This cooling has been about 10° C in October-November since 1985 (Thompson and Solomon, 2002), and has acted to intensify the circumpolar vortex, leading to surface cooling. If the climate modelers are right, the circumpolar vortex will weaken as the ozone hole diminishes in coming decades. This will allow the Antarctic to begin warming with the rest of the globe.

References and resources

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), 2007, The Physical Science Basis.

Jones, J.M., and M. Widman, "Atmospheric science: Early peak in Antarctic oscillation index," Nature 432, 290-291 (18 November 2004) | doi:10.1038/432290b; Published online 17 November 2004.

Kwok, R., and J.C. Comiso, "Spatial patterns of variability in Antarctic surface temperature: Connections to the Southern Hemisphere Annular Mode and the Southern Oscillation", GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 29, NO. 14, 10.1029/2002GL015415, 2002.

Thompson, D.W.J., and S. Solomon, "Interpretation of Recent Southern Hemisphere Climate Change", Science 3 May 2002: Vol. 296. no. 5569, pp. 895 - 899 DOI: 10.1126/science.1069270.

Turner, J. et al., 2005, "Antarctic climate change during the last 50 years", International Journal of Climatology, Volume 25, Issue 3, pp 279-294.

Arctic sea ice

"Antarctic cooling, global warming?" RealClimate.org post, 3 December 2004.

Jeff Masters

The views of the author are his/her own and do not necessarily represent the position of The Weather Company or its parent, IBM.

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96. hurricane23
10:53 PM GMT on November 27, 2007

Just some thought to grays december forcast approaching in a few weeks.This december forcast in my personal opinion is pretty much useless as its impossible to know what atmospheric conditions will be in place 6 months from now.For all we know there is a chance that a significant nino will come about late in 2008 similar to the 92 or 93 season.Overall its pretty much entertainment for me but will read as iam been following them for years.

NOAA to me did a great job with there forcast as they predicted 13-17 named tropical cyclones and we ended up with 6 hurricanes as karen was upgraded via the ATCF file.They also called for 3-5 majors and we ended up with 2 in 07.

We'll see what happens! Adrian
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95. CycloneQld
10:50 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
“…cooling will be the more damaging; arguably, it is also the most imminent threat…” By Dr. Bob Carter, Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, Australia

Anyone worth their salt knows that James Cook University is hardly an educational institution but more a mouthpiece for the carbon-fuels lobbists that are the main source of its funding.

It's entirely within Carter's interests to publicly speak about climate cooling, when his paymasters are major CO2 emitters that have in the past been linked to climate warming.

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94. Tazmanian
10:43 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
well all it is now post-season re-analysis

Karen was redesignated as a hurricane in the post-season re-analysis
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93. Hurricaneblast
10:18 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
Tropical Cyclone Report for Hurricane Karen was released. Karen was found to have reached category one status for 12 hours on September 26th. Maximum sustained winds were 75mph and the minumum pressure was 988mb
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92. Weather456
6:11 PM AST on November 27, 2007
Long-Range Forecast for Florida - December 2007

December 2007
Avg. Temperature: 60° (3° below avg.)
Precipitation: 2" (0.5" below avg.)
Dec. 1-4: Showers, then sunny, cool
Dec. 5-9: Showers, then sunny; freeze north and central
Dec. 10-17: Sunny, turning warmer
Dec. 18-23: Rain, warm
Dec. 24-30: Sunny, cool
Dec. 31: Rain

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91. Weather456
5:47 PM AST on November 27, 2007
I love surprises so one more storm wouldn't hurt.
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90. eaglesrock
4:39 PM EST on November 27, 2007
In the long-range, the CMC wobbles the system around near Hispaniola as a weak TS.
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89. extreme236
9:37 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
Thanks for the update 456...guess we will watch for any development however the chances of it happening is probably low.
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88. extreme236
9:35 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
Well the cmc has been a little persistant on developing a cyclone in the south-central atlantic, and the gfs shows a very weak system forming, however 36-48 hours or so later than the cmc and the ukm also shows something but at a much later time period at about 100 hours
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87. Weather456
5:26 PM AST on November 27, 2007

A cold front goes from Central Florida northeastward to beyond 37N/69W. Scattered multilayer cloudiness and showers are within 132 nm either side of the front. A strong high pressure ridge centered 1036 mb near 38N/40W producing fair weather and 20 knot anticyclonic flow over the Atlantic between 50W and the front.

An interesting feature across the Subtropical Atlantic where a highly amplified upper trough is producing weak to moderate scattered showers from 18N to 28N between 40W and 58W. The upper trough is also inducing a surface trough near 30N/43W 20N/43W, that could be the focal point of some subtropical or tropical development over the next few days though I am still skeptical of this.

by W456
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86. Weather456
5:14 PM AST on November 27, 2007

The most active weather over the region today lies across Southern Central America and the Caribbean Sea west of 77W and south of 17N. This activity is linked to increase low level inflow and convergence enhanced by upper level outflow induced by an upper anticyclone near 10N/81W. In the meantime, mid-upper level dry air covers the Central and Eastern Caribbean, thus most of the moisture is the form of low level scattered showers being advected by the trades across the Greater Antilles and Lesser Antilles, particularly the Leeward Islands. High pressure north of the area continues to maintain 20-35 knot winds across the waters east of the Leeward Islands to the Southwest Caribbean. These winds continue to create breezy conditions across the region and whipping up 20 ft seas...25 ft across some spots. Small craft advisory remains in effect.

by W456
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85. Weather456
5:10 PM AST on November 27, 2007
I could not fit this into the synopsis but ROABS from Veracruz, Mexico shows the passage of the front. Look the lowest level and look how the winds back from northwesterly, west then southwest.
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84. Patrap
3:13 PM CST on November 27, 2007
Keep ya eye on it ...its going to turn North...
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83. polyu
9:12 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
We would like to have more members join us at


please join and contribute if you can
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82. eaglesrock
4:10 PM EST on November 27, 2007
Not sure if anyone's looking at the CMC, but it's showing a tropical storm in the south-central Atlantic in 4 days.
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81. Weather456
4:48 PM AST on November 27, 2007

A well define cold front continues push its way across the Gulf, now located between the Yucatan Peninsula across Central Florida through 27N/81W. The front continues to lie within strong diffluent flow aloft between a ridge over the Caribbean and a trough over the Eastern United States. Satellite imagery showed most of the moisture along the front is in the form of mid-high level clouds. In addition to that, Naples, Florida is reporting mid-level clouds while Merida, Mexico is reporting overcast skies near 9000 m suggesting cirrostratus clouds.

Enough about clouds. As the front moves off to the east, the associated 1030 mb high pressure ridge is establish over the Southern Mississippi Valley near 32N/95W producing moderate to strong north to northeast winds across much of the Gulf of Mexico west of 90W. These winds are impacting the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, creating a funneling effect leading to gale force winds across the Gulf of Tehuantepec in the Eastern Pacific Ocean.

Meanwhile, cold air stratocumulus is being advected over the Northern Gulf north of 27N and exceptionally fair weather dominates the Southern Mississippi Valley due high pressure ridge and dry stable air associated with the upper trough.

by W456
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80. Patrap
3:03 PM CST on November 27, 2007
Patrap ought to read the book "The Plot to Seize the Whitehouse" which contains the biography of "Ol' Gimlet-Eye" Smedley Butler.

"Loved the quote,if ya quoted Dad said,,there listening."
YA preaching to the Choir Friend..and yes..Ive read the Book

Smedley Darlington Butler (July 30, 1881 %u2013 June 21, 1940), nicknamed "The Fighting Quaker" and "Old Gimlet Eye," was a Major General in the U.S. Marine Corps and, at the time of his death, the most decorated Marine in U.S. history.

During his 34 years of Marine Corps service, Butler was awarded numerous medals for heroism including the Marine Corps Brevet Medal (the highest Marine medal at its time for officers), and subsequently the Medal of Honor twice. Notably, he is one of only 19 people to be twice awarded the Medal of Honor, and one of only three to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor, and the only person to be awarded a Marine Corps Brevet Medal and a Medal of Honor for two different actions.

In addition to his military career, Smedley Butler was noted for his outspoken anti-interventionist views, and his book War is a Racket. His book was one of the first works describing the workings of the military-industrial complex and after retiring from service, he became a popular speaker at meetings organized by veterans, pacifists and church groups in the 1930s.

In 1934, he informed the United States Congress that a group of wealthy industrialists had plotted a military coup to overthrow the government of President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Semper Fi!..I think,..LOL
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78. H2PV
8:38 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
73. vortfix 8:22 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
“…cooling will be the more damaging; arguably, it is also the most imminent threat…” By Dr. Bob Carter, Marine Geophysical Laboratory at James Cook University, Australia

Another alarmist arguing for a coming Ice Age. Wasn't he doing this in the 1970s too, if I remember??? Crackpot!

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77. Weather456
4:43 PM AST on November 27, 2007
Gulf of Tehuantepec wind event about to occur. I'll post a synopsis shortly.
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75. Weather456
4:27 PM AST on November 27, 2007
good day to all
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74. H2PV
8:17 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
When I was young there was a saying going around: "Live Fast, Die Young, Have a Beautiful Corpse".

I did the first, missed the second, and it's too late for the third. I broke a few vital things and sooner rather than than later I'll be joining those who lived by that creed. I no longer have a dog in this fight. I fritter away my golden years tending a website with 12,000 pages. Some of what I have on the web apples to the current discussion in one way or another:

62. EvPv 6:43 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
While the discussion regarding our influence on climate change is always interesting, the real reason to use less fuel in the U.S. is national security

63. Patrap 6:47 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
The more we Buy crude from unstable Nations, Iran, Saudi Arabia..and many others. Were doomed to keep funding the Radicalist.

I have the time, and I took the time, to figure out what's what. In 41 years at the latest, all US energy will come from solar. The electric usage takes 90% of the space now used as residential rooftops. The transportation supply takes 4 to 10 times that much power, if patterns don't change (which they will).

In 1998 GM put the EV1 on the road with 18.7 kWh of lead-Acid batteries good for 55 to 95 miles range. Those weren't the best batteries on sale in 1998, nor the bast we know how to make. Both doubling the power capacity and halving the weight would produce 200+ mile range with 72 kilowatt-hour storage capacity with the same weight vehicle (~3,100 pounds).

The US has 105 million households but 200 million fleet of cars and light trucks (vans, pickups, SUVs). 200 million vehicles with 72 kWh capacity can power all US homes for 6 days straight. A 60 kWh fuel cell car can power 60 homes for as many hours as it has fuel in the tank. Cars are not really the problem -- they are the solution, only when they are H2-PV cars.

The US interstate highway system right of ways with a 12" diameter hydrogen pipeline running alongside would hold around 10 billion kilos of hydrogen, enough to drive a fuel cell fleet of 200,000,000 cars from Los Angeles to NYC.

The pressure in the pipeline is similar to the pressure in the tanks that scuba divers strap on their bare backs for comparison. If you are scared of Hydrogen than you are psychologically unfit for the space age, as H2+O2 is the only non-polluting rocket fuel available to make a space age.

PV (PhotoVoltaics) is made basically out of the same stuff as beer cans and beer bottles, Aluminum and Silicon. The technology is not vastly more sophisticated when you look into it. The cost of PV should be around the value of beer cans and beer bottles when PV is made in the same mass volumes as beer cans and beer bottles.

Who are the "radicalists"? Chevron oil company owns Corbysis and controls the NiMH patents which is why you can't buy plug-in hybrids with NiMH batteries. The same Chevron joined GM and Exxon (Standard Oil) in demolishing 100 cities electric streetcar lines in the 1930s. GM sold their share of the Corbysis operation to Chevron-Phillips, and now GM can't make the hypothetical someday Chevy Volt go even 40 miles on pure electric range, although the EV1 went 55 to 95 miles on Lead-Acid batteries nine years ago.

The saboteurs are the ones moving our wealth to the middle east while lying about basic facts of national self-sufficiency. Al Qaeda couldn't be sapping the country more effectively.

Patrap ought to read the book "The Plot to Seize the Whitehouse" which contains the biography of "Ol' Gimlet-Eye" Smedley Butler.

Butler blew the whistle on the coup plotters, but with the internet you can dig a lot more facts than Butler ever knew in his lifetime. Butler died before Standard Oil execs Teagle & Farish were charged and convicted with Trading With the Enemy. He never knew a tenth of it, but this is what he said about what he did know:

"I spent thirty- three years and four months in active military service as a member of this country's most agile military force, the Marine Corps. I served in all commissioned ranks from Second Lieutenant to Major-General. And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle- man for Big Business, for Wall Street and for the Bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.

I suspected I was just part of a racket at the time. Now I am sure of it. Like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical with everyone in the military service.

I helped make Mexico, especially Tampico, safe for American oil interests [Chevron] in 1914. I helped make Haiti and Cuba a decent place for the National City Bank [Standard Oil bank] boys to collect revenues in. I helped in the raping of half a dozen Central American republics for the benefits of Wall Street. The record of racketeering is long. I helped purify Nicaragua for the international banking house of Brown Brothers in 1909-1912 [Prescott Bush's partners]. I brought light to the Dominican Republic for American sugar interests in 1916. In China I helped to see to it that Standard Oil went its way unmolested.

During those years, I had, as the boys in the back room would say, a swell racket. Looking back on it, I feel that I could have given Al Capone a few hints. The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents."

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72. extreme236
8:03 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
Hello everyone. I have been reading a lot of comments over the past few days making it seem like the NOAA predictions were "egotistically wrong" as one person put it. But lets be real here, the main people who over-hyped it was the media earlier this year. NOAA said the chance for a US major hurricane hit was high, and it was, but just didnt happen. They said 13-17 named storms, and that happened. The hurricane/major hurricane prediction didnt occur but predictions can be hard to have come true.
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71. sullivanweather
7:55 PM GMT on November 27, 2007

Northern hemisphere sea-ice compared to last year

Northern hemisphere sea-ice 11/26/06


Northern hemisphere sea-ice 11/26/07
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70. Levi32
10:37 AM AKST on November 27, 2007
First of all...who are you calling a 'youngin' =)

And yes....I understand perfectly lol.
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69. ShenValleyFlyFish
2:29 PM EST on November 27, 2007
67. franck Mother Nature doesn't know you or care about you. So when she makes a correction, best not be there, or at least get out of the way.

You youngins better be listening to this guy. If you don't get what he's talkin bout go acx yer Uncle Patrap.
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67. franck
7:21 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
shenvalley...but unlike your own Mom, Mother Nature doesn't know you or care about you. So when she makes a correction, best not be there, or at least get out of the way.
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66. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:44 PM EST on November 27, 2007
Well put EvPv.

Like I been saying for years: I don't know much about climate but I do know a little bit about mothers and it appears to me Mother Nature is getting pissed about the mess we've been making of the space ship and I'm not sure what she's gonna do about it but if she's at all like my Mom, we ain't gonna like it.
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64. Patrap
12:50 PM CST on November 27, 2007
Brrrr..turn up the heat a smidge...
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63. Patrap
12:43 PM CST on November 27, 2007
Excellent Point EvPv,

If we open up Alaska, the West Coast & East Coast of Fla..and Near Shore California. We wouldnt have all the critical wells Just in the GOM. People want clean Beaches, but reality is. The more we Buy crude from unstable Nations, Iran, Saudi Arabia..and many others. Were doomed to keep funding the Radicalist.

Remember..It was 19 Saudis who did 911. Not Iraqis..not Afghanis..but thats a debate for another entry.
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62. EvPv
6:25 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
While the discussion regarding our influence on climate change is always interesting, the real reason to use less fuel in the U.S. is national security. If the environmental groups realized this, and pushed in that direction, it could perhaps lower the U.S. gasoline usage for the first time (for a year's total) since 1991.

Other than emissions, large fuel oil consumption in the U.S. sends money to parts of the world who, well to put it politely, don't like us. It also hurts the trade balance. I recommend Bill Maher's book (or audiobook) "When You Ride Alone, You Ride With Bin Laden" for a well put look at this issue. He doesn't even touch the climate issue.
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60. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:35 PM EST on November 27, 2007
Damnit! there's no beating Patrap with a post.
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59. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:34 PM EST on November 27, 2007
Arctic Sea Ice: Link
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58. Patrap
12:27 PM CST on November 27, 2007

Yukon Cornelius finds a Artic Abomidable
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56. walfa
6:23 PM GMT on November 27, 2007


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55. MisterPerfect
6:11 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
Next blog
Friday is the last day of hurricane season, and I'll summarize how the preseason predictions did.

Jeff Masters

4 days of sea ice suits me good. Thanks doc!
I can summarize the preseason predictions too...Egotistically Over-estimated
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54. ShenValleyFlyFish
1:10 PM EST on November 27, 2007
Climate change might not be forever but tell that to the critters who were riding this spaceship before the ice age if you can time travel. I'm sure they will be greatly relieved.
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52. ShenValleyFlyFish
12:52 PM EST on November 27, 2007
Like I said I'm no climatologist but it seems to me that they are pretty much in agreement that the planet we ride on is in a warming cycle. The quarrel is how much our species is contributing to the rate and can or should we be trying to do something about our part.
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51. Levi32
8:58 AM AKST on November 27, 2007
More evidence that Global Warming isn't a permanent thing, but just a global pattern that we haven't recorded enough of yet to really understand or predict.

....no GW debates in this blog though remember....

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48. Patrap
11:54 AM CST on November 27, 2007

Van Heerden and Harry Shearer discuss Wetlands, surge and more.

Scientist to discuss storm damage effects

LONG BEACH --Post-Katrina destruction of Louisiana's waterways has rippled over to the Mississippi Coast, said author Ivor van Heerden, author of the highly publicized "The Storm - What Went Wrong and Why during Hurricane Katrina - the Inside Story from One Louisiana Scientist."

van Heerden will discuss the issue Thursday at this month's Issues Answers lecture series, which returns to the Gulf Park Campus of the University of Mississippi for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

van Heerden is the deputy director of the Louisiana State University Hurricane Center and previously led wetlands restoration projects for the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources.

"The return of Issues Answers to the Gulf Park campus represents yet another step in the recovery efforts of Southern Miss Gulf Coast," said Dr. Pat Joachim, associate provost for the University of Southern Mississippi Gulf Coast. "We are happy that, along with our partner the Sun Herald, we are able to return the series to our campus where the community can enjoy our comfortable, state-of-the-art auditorium."

In his lecture, van Heerden will talk about the destruction of the barrier islands and how they protect the Coast from strong surges. A little-known fact, he said, was that waves following the initial Katrina surge did much of the damage. And some of Mississippi's damage was a direct result of Louisiana's levee breach.

"Our futures are tied in that what we do in Louisiana will have an effect in Mississippi, and the opposite holds true," he said.

van Heerden is often credited with predicting the levee catastrophe in New Orleans months before Katrina and has publicly spoken against the Army Corps of Engineers and FEMA for their failures post-hurricane. In an interview with the science show "Nova" on Oct. 29, 2004, he predicted the water rise, flooding, and stranded people in New Orleans, should a Category 3 hurricane hit New Orleans. He has often said his warnings fell on deaf ears.

Now that the environmental damage of Katrina is starting to surface, van Heerden will also talk about scientists and their role in politics, especially in getting funding for coastal restoration and levees. Restoring the coastline, he said, is not just good for recreation, but for business as well. Petroleum shortages mean there is pressure to open the Gulf of Mexico, he said.

As global warming experts predict stronger hurricanes, the safe redevelopment of the Coast will draw more companies and better jobs, he said.

"Recovery of the economy to pre-Katrina levels means you have to prove it's safe," he said.


If you go

Who: Ivor van Heerden, hurricane expert and professor at LSU.

What: Issues Answers lecture series. van Heerden will talk about how Mississippi's watershed has suffered because of Katrina's damage to Louisiana.

Where: USM Gulf Park in Long Beach AEC building.

When: 7 p.m. Thursday.
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47. ShenValleyFlyFish
12:32 PM EST on November 27, 2007
I'm just a Dumb Hill-Billy but I thought the good Dr is saying that the amount of warming/melting in Antarctica is cyclical and shows no trend change but the amount of cooling in the center of the continent is trending toward colder range?
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46. Spetrm
5:38 PM GMT on November 27, 2007
Antarctica is cooling! Take that global warming. LOL
I like this update masters if you read this. A lot of good information.
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