Thursday, April 6, 2006

Global Warming

I am currently reading Michael Crichton's "State of Fear". I have read through first 50 pages and the book is about environmental disasters. Though the book is a work of fiction Crichton does mention that all the foot notes are true.

Last night while reading the book I learnt that the 1st half of 20th century was warmer than 2nd half of 20th century in Greenland & Iceland. The glaciers in Greenland & Iceland are increasing rapidly. This runs contrary to everything we read about Global Warming in the media.

That was what I read last night and today I open my mail box and there is this article about Time Magazine's cover story. Sheer coincidence.

The article starts with "Polar Ice Caps Are Melting Faster Than Ever... More And More Land Is Being Devastated By Drought... Rising Waters Are Drowning Low-Lying Communities... By Any Measure, Earth Is At ... The Tipping Point. The climate is crashing, and global warming is to blame."

And this is what it has to say about Greenland's glacier:
"But glaciers, it turns out, can move with surprising speed, and so can nature. What few people reckoned on was that global climate systems are booby-trapped with tipping points and feedback loops, thresholds past which the slow creep of environmental decay gives way to sudden and self-perpetuating collapse. Pump enough CO2 into the sky, and that last part per million of greenhouse gas behaves like the 212th degree Fahrenheit that turns a pot of hot water into a plume of billowing steam. Melt enough Greenland ice, and you reach the point at which you're not simply dripping meltwater into the sea but dumping whole glaciers. By one recent measure, several Greenland ice sheets have doubled their rate of slide, and just last week the journal Science published a study suggesting that by the end of the century, the world could be locked in to an eventual rise in sea levels of as much as 20 ft. Nature, it seems, has finally got a bellyful of us."

I may be mis-interpreting things but on one hand I am reading that the glaciers are increasing and on other hand I am being told that glacier's are melting. Take your pick.

I guess with all complicated issues there is no correct side just statistics :)

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