Thursday, September 29, 2005

Short Term Anomoly
It's Getting Hot in Herre

Mrs. F and I got back from our trek to the Midwest last night, where we spent the last few days enjoying the simple life out on the North Dakota prairie, helping our friends Ward, Sue & Netty and Jim & Lee gather and cut firewood for the coming cold months. (Yes, I even used a chainsaw!) Mrs. F's Mom has been doing a bang-up job while we've been gone, and perhaps we can convince her to stick around. The postings will still be light from me for the next few days--still have a few deadlines to finish and it's gonna take a few days to sort out all the news that's been going on--but I'll be ramping up the cracked machinery into full gear by Sunday. In the meantime, here's a bit of a climate change/global warming warning from the London Guardian:

Global warming in the Arctic could be soaring out of control, scientists warned yesterday as new figures revealed that melting of sea ice in the region has accelerated to record levels.

Experts at the US National Snow and Data Centre in Colorado fear the region is locked into a destructive cycle with warmer air melting more ice, which in turn warms the air further. Satellite pictures show that the extent of Arctic sea ice this month dipped some 20% below the long term average for September - melting an extra 500,000 square miles, or an area twice the size of Texas. If current trends continue, the summertime Arctic Ocean will be completely ice-free well before the end of this century.
The Arctic sea ice cover reaches its minimum extent each September at the end of the summer melting season. On September 21 the mean sea ice extent dropped to 2.05m square miles, the lowest on record. This is the fourth consecutive year that melting has been greater than average and it pushed the overall decline in sea ice per decade to 8%, up from 6.5% in 2001.

Walt Meier, also at the Colorado centre, said: "Having four years in a row with such low ice extents has never been seen before in the satellite record. It clearly indicates a downward trend, not just a short term anomaly."


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