Quite a long time since anyone posted on this thread. Stu McLennan's comments are pretty
accurate IMHO about liberals & Democrats using the topic for their own agenda. Quite a few
times they have done a sorry job with their previous adoptions, like welfare, entitlements,
cold war (Vietnam), etc. In fact everything they touch eventually turns to sludge, almost.
Even NASA (yes, Democrat born) eventually translated into pork and waste, albeit with some
return and nice pictures from afar. They do seem to be jockeying for position on this one,
once again for their terribly selfish partisan reasons.
That being said, weather is exceedingly complex. GCM (global climate models) are simply
impossible to be sure of anything for long, much less on a macro level with only minor
changes. C02 parts per million have about doubled, but still the percentage is really small
and water is a real wild card in that H20 is a greenhouse agent, shield, and radiant, going
through several very changed radiating properties in ordinary temperature snow alone.
About the Mr. McLennan's Greenland bombers snowed over, with all due respect, you are
mistaken about that one. Snow development is based upon several factors, including
humidity (Rh). It happens that the part of Greenland the planes were stranded on is on
the South East tip of the island, which is close enough to the Gulf stream that huge
amounts of snow fall yearly. A few miles inland and the water amount equals about 10
to 20 inches of rain a year (in form of snow, of course). The top Northeastern part is
so dry as no ice fields or glaciers form, a net evaporation despite the low rate, since
very little falls. (Same thing goes with the dry valleys of Antarctica, with some icefields
naturally subliminating to expose meteors in the ice, accumulated over millions of years).
Musk oxen and other animals roam on the top of Greenland over huge icefree areas.
Most of Greenland's ice budget comes from the interior, huge acre plots that even at
20' of precipitation overweighs the edges, I think. Even if the increase in the top is
significant, it would take only a few thousand years to migrate down to the western
coasts. Since all of this is the area of ice free locals, and the ice overburden, it could
work that one side gains and the other side melts, still raising the ocean levels and
increasing the overall global albedo. (which all of this is really about, since we figured
out close to a century ago that a completely snow covered earth will reflect enough
sun heat away to be stable and completely freeze the planet until some asteroid or
huge volcano upsets the process, all about tripping points.)
So Greenland ice formation is really poorly thought of just from the tips close enough
to the North Atlantic warm current, as the whole is much less. Also, it is possible
to melt even if it did receive such a huge amount of snow yearly throughout. The reason is
that about half of Greenland is below water, especially in the interior. The ice melts mostly
on the edges, or at least used to until recently, as the interior parts below sea level also
have a mile of ice pushing down on them. But glaciers are odd stuff, and when warm enough
sea water does reach inland, like after melting and negotiating around a gravel and glacier
til bar, rapid collapse can and often does happen. A little warmer water, being far more
dense than air, changes everything. So warmer currents nearby make a big difference,
and can eat away on the underside for a great many miles inland, an exposed surface
magnitudes greater than that on the coast, if the water is only 1 degree or more than
above the level of freezing for fresh water ice,or 32F.
This means possibly far more rapid advancement of glaciers, and since these are not
floating, a raised ocean level. Not real quick, I guess, as there is a huge overburden and
the below sea level part is really not that deep. Antarctica West ice sheet is far deeper
and uneven, so is more of a catastrophe potentially. Both are probably poor candidates
for immediate collapse, just steady chipping away, maybe raising the ocean a few feet
with all the trouble that means (like Venice has had over the last odd centuries). And it is
relatively permanent, as ice buildup simply takes longer than potential melting, mainly
due to ice development comes from precipitation (snow) but melting on a large scale of
sheets tends to come from underneath with contact to seawater. Mountain temperate
glaciers are really irrelevant to what I am discussing.
There are methods to geoengineer solutions. In my personal experience, liberals and
professors do not want them in most high level centers. It is almost a religion to them,
though many readers at this site probably make these smart people into caricatures.
Please remember that being overly refined does not mean worthless. One simply
can not normally expect so much well rounded results from ivory towers. I speak
from experience. So they as a whole do not want geoengineering, only vast,
expensive global self composting toilets or the moral equivalent of offsets/cap&trade.
I can not be sure of my opinion is correct in that the situation risks going beyond the
'tripping point' is quite possible, sort of like one fairly pragmantic greeny says in a
Dirty Harry way "do we feel lucky". The world has changed in so many ways in the past.
It is a complicated mechanism only beginning to make sense. If so, Rush, Woolley, and
others would be kind of on the wrong side of this one (unlike on so many other areas
where I feel they are very correct in very dangerous areas). But being more positive
than a green shrine temple type, geoengineering seems the best way to look into. Some, like
iron dispensing in the ocean are unproven but very low cost. It could be a southern
ocean strategy, where very few crop or population centers are anywhere close, would
solve everything with little down side, should it become clear that we are on the slope.
A bit like the boyscouts, we should be prepared.
Again, it is very complex, especially to the novices that most people are. And politically
I have experienced the academia to be both astute and shaped by their biases, on average,
if that assessment makes any sense. We are talking face to face as well as other
mediums here. One more point, global warming seems to be cresting, but for how
long? The last 5 years have not been peak. The key exception seems to be in pressure
points, sort of canaries in the mine so to speak, like where currents have been veering
northward in Alaska or Greenland (which can, due to topography, increase snowfall and
glacier buildup, minding that the north part of Alaska remained icefree during the summer
throughout the iceages, as did the great majority of Siberia). Sea ice, which is thin, in
the North Pole has been collapsing, closing in towards the 50% mark, a very big move
we guess (almost no observation before 1938 ice island occupancy). Antarctic has
been moving the other way during southern winter (about August) to record levels
of maybe some 40 years of monitoring, but difficult to dislodge and much deeper
multi-year ice has been disappearing to about 1/2 of it's historical levels. We do not
absolutely know that, say, in the 13th century the same took place, as sea ice is
very rarely more than 20 years old, but I would say that this is different and
could very easily be a significant move.
Sort of a place your bets, gentlemen approach. No one knows. Politically, on both
sides too much posturing is taking place. I would say that for the conservative
right, we should take a postion that "maybe, but let's have geoengineer solutions
bandied about and extend the patent far beyond the 20year mark for convenience
of any that would be used". You see, everyone sensible loves a solution, but also love
to stall the payment, with the usual results of drying up true visionaries and developers.
The 20 yr extension is a business solution, one the left will shun as if it were a diseased
leper just walking in the room with obvious ten foot pole marks all over his poor body .
Sounds like a conservative's opportunity to me, although realistically even with
good result the libs will enevitably not own up and do heavy damage control.
And the true greenies? They will try to muck up the process. I grew up with these people
and still do not understand the inner drive well enough to clearly explain beyond hunches. It
seems something primordial, like fascism in the 1930's. But if they are a bit correct in
weather trends by hook, crook, or luck, it would pay to do a little ground work in alternatives
to such wacked out ilk solutions as they tend to propose.