My Jan 17th 2006 post:
I understand what Brighid is and has been telling me now for quite some time.
The Vikings, my need to understand them more and to understand my own lineage.
The fact that I have always been drawn to the Native American's and Indigenous peoples of the World And my often wondering if it is due to the Science of my blood Transfusions, the blood of the Chamerro peoples who descend from the Mongolians and Polynesians.
My Love of the Tibetan Buddhism Teachings.
Again, coming to realizations here.
Matty's assesment is correct and as the Hurricane brought us closer North we will have to move on even closer before the End.
Matty suggested to me that we migrate to the North, and I mean NORTH!
We have had signs and this time we are not keeping our eyes closed to visions and messeges from the Spirit World.
Thirty years ago Lovelock conceived the idea that Earth possesses a planetary-scale control system he named Gaia, which keeps our environment fit for life, The Independent reported Monday.
But now he believes mankind's abuse of the environment has made climate change insoluble and life on Earth will never be the same again.
In an extraordinarily pessimistic new assessment published in Monday's Independent, Lovelock suggests efforts to counter global warming cannot succeed, and that, in effect, it is already too late.
Lovelock now believes Earth and human society face nearly complete disaster, and sooner than nearly anybody realizes.
He writes, "Before this century is over, billions of us will die, and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic, where the climate remains tolerable."
This region of the planet, north of the Arctic Circle, includes the Arctic Ocean, Greenland, Baffin Island, other smaller northern islands, and the far northern parts of Europe, Russia (Siberia), Alaska and Canada.
The Arctic Circle, incidentally, is an imaginary line located at 66º, 30'N latitude, and as a guide defines the southernmost part of the Arctic.
The climate within the Circle is very cold and much of the area is always covered with ice.
In the mid winter months, the sun never rises and temperatures can easily reach lows of - 50º F in the higher latitudes.
In the summer months (further south), 24 hours of sunlight a day melts the seas and topsoil, and is the main cause of icebergs breaking off from the frozen north and floating south, causing havoc in the shipping lanes of the north Atlantic.
The primary residents of the Arctic include the Eskimos (Inuits), Saami and Russians, with an overall population (of all peoples) exceeding 2 million.
The indigenous Eskimos have lived in the area for over 9,000 years, and many have now given up much of their traditional hunting and fishing to work in the oil fields and the varied support villages.
The first explorers of the Arctic were Vikings.
Norwegians visited the northern regions in the 9th century, and Erik the Red (Icelander) established a settlement in Greenland in 982. In 1909, after numerous attempts by regional explorers, Robert E. Peary reached the North Pole.
From the NASA.gov site:
RECENT WARMING OF ARCTIC MAY AFFECT WORLDWIDE CLIMATE
Recently observed change in Arctic temperatures and sea ice cover may be a harbinger of global climate changes to come, according to a recent NASA study.
Satellite data -- the unique view from space -- are allowing researchers to more clearly see Arctic changes and develop an improved understanding of the possible effect on climate worldwide.
The Arctic warming study, appearing in the November 1 issue of the American Meteorological Society's Journal of Climate, shows that compared to the 1980s, most of the Arctic warmed significantly over the last decade, with the biggest temperature increases occurring over North America.
"The new study is unique in that, previously, similar studies made use of data from very few points scattered in various parts of the Arctic region," said the study's author, Dr. Josefino C. Comiso, senior research scientist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.
"These results show the large spatial variability in the trends that only satellite data can provide." Comiso used surface temperatures taken from satellites between 1981 and 2001 in his study.The result has direct connections to NASA-funded studies conducted last year that found perennial, or year-round, sea ice in the Arctic is declining at a rate of nine percent per decade and that in 2002 summer sea ice was at record low levels.
Early results indicate this persisted in 2003.
Researchers have suspected loss of Arctic sea ice may be caused by changing atmospheric pressure patterns over the Arctic that move sea ice around, and by warming Arctic temperatures that result from greenhouse gas buildup in the atmosphere.Warming trends like those found in these studies could greatly affect ocean processes, which, in turn, impact Arctic and global climate, said Michael Steele, senior oceanographer at the University of Washington, Seattle.
Liquid water absorbs the Sun's energy rather than reflecting it into the atmosphere the way ice does. As the oceans warm and ice thins, more solar energy is absorbed by the water, creating positive feedbacks that lead to further melting.
Such dynamics can change the temperature of ocean layers, impact ocean circulation and salinity, change marine habitats, and widen shipping lanes, Steele said.
In related NASA-funded research that observes perennial sea-ice trends, Mark C. Serreze, a scientist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, found that in 2002 the extent of Arctic summer sea ice reached the lowest level in the satellite record, suggesting this is part of a trend.
"It appears that the summer 2003 -- if it does not set a new record -- will be very close to the levels of last year," Serreze said. "In other words, we have not seen a recovery; we really see we are reinforcing that general downward trend." A paper on this topic is forthcoming.
According to Comiso's study, when compared to longer term ground-based surface temperature data, the rate of warming in the Arctic over the last 20 years is eight times the rate of warming over the last 100 years.
Comiso's study also finds temperature trends vary by region and season. While warming is prevalent over most of the Arctic, some areas, such as Greenland, appear to be cooling. Springtimes arrived earlier and were warmer, and warmer autumns lasted longer, the study found. Most importantly, temperatures increased on average by 1.22 degrees Celsius per decade over sea ice during Arctic summer. The summer warming and lengthened melt season appears to be affecting the volume and extent of permanent sea ice.
Annual trends, which were not quite as strong, ranged from a warming of 1.06 degrees Celsius over North America to a cooling of .09 degrees Celsius in Greenland.
If the high latitudes warm, and sea ice extent declines, thawing Arctic soils may release significant amounts of carbon dioxide and methane now trapped in permafrost, and slightly warmer ocean water could release frozen natural gases in the sea floor, all of which act as greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, said David Rind, a senior researcher at NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies, New York. "These feedbacks are complex and we are working to understand them," he added.
The surface temperature records covering from 1981 to 2001 were obtained through thermal infrared data from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration satellites. The studies were funded by NASA's Earth Science Enterprise, which is dedicated to understanding the Earth as an integrated system and applying Earth System Science to improve prediction of climate, weather and natural hazards using the unique vantage point of space.
Seasons of Change:
Evidence of Arctic Warming Grows
SYNOPSIS:Experts have long regarded Earth's polar regions as early indicators for global climate change. But until the last few years, wide ranging, comprehensive research about overall polar conditions has been challenging to conduct. Now a more than twenty-year record of space based measurements has been analyzed by researchers at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center. Based on their findings, evidence of a warming planet continues to grow.CHANGING SEASONS, CHANGING ICEResearch and data collection of Arctic Ocean ice isn't easy. But in this sequence using data collected by a number of satellites from 1979 to 2003, we see how scientists have been able to stitch together a careful record of sea ice in that part of the world.
In 2002 scientists recorded the lowest concentration of sea ice ever in The Arctic. While temperature changes vary across the vast expanse of The Arctic, overall trends suggest that decreasing ice concentrations are due to a significant increase in ocean warming, from rising surface temperatures to the total number of annual "melt days".Less ice means more open water. More open water means greater absorption of solar energy. More absorption of solar energy means increased rates of warming in the ocean, which naturally tends to yield faster rates of ice loss.
Part of the challenge for researchers was in the elimination of "bad data", from atmospheric interference to instrument calibration issues and more. One reason that data acquired by microwave detecting instruments such as those flying on the DMSP satellites is that microwaves can penetrate the cloud cover that frequently blankets the Arctic. One of the most apparent characteristics of Arctic ice is just how dynamic and complex an environment it is.
Through continued research and gathering of data, scientists hope to achieve a better level of understanding about the processes at work in the cryosphere.
Arctic perennial sea ice has been decreasing at a rate of 9% per decade.Warmer And CoolerSpace based observation facilitate a kind of thoroughness that ground based observations cannot realistically approach. Based on 20 years of data collected by infrared measurements, surface warming trends in The Arctic are eight times greater than trends over the past 100 years, suggesting a rapid acceleration in warming. According to this study, the sea ice melt season has increased by 10 to 17 days per decade.
The readings are not uniform, however. While average temperatures are increasing throughout The Arctic, there are several places where there appear to be cooling trends. Greenland is a good example; the data there suggest a mild decrease in average temperatures through the time period being analyzed.
PRESSURE TO CHANGE
Taken in isolation, one year's worth of data does not tell us much. Just as we all know that some days of the year might be unusually hot or cold, we intuitively understand that dramatic events in isolation are simply anomalies.But many samples of data can imply change. Taken as collections of information, trends begin to emerge based on a pattern. In this sequence we see how 21 years of accumulated data indicate temperature trends in the Arctic. While the overall direction of the trend suggests warming for the region, there are many places where the average temperature is falling year after year.The length of the melt season inferred from surface temperature weekly data has been increasing by 9, 12, and 17 days per decade in sea ice covered areas, Greenland, Eurasia (>60o lat), and North America (>60o lat), respectively.
Longer melt periods would mean reduced growth season, thinner sea ice and less extensive sea ice cover in the summer. Credit: NASABRIGHT WHITE REFLECTS LIGHT-THE GLOBAL ROLE OF THE POLAR CAPSThe polar caps not only hold much of the planet's total fresh water, but also play an important role in regulating the Earth's temperature.
The relevant characteristic is called albedo. It's a measure of how much radiation, or light, is reflected from a body. Similar to how a white shirt helps keep a person cooler in the summer than a black shirt, the vast stretches of polar ice covering much of the planet's top and bottom reflect large amounts of solar radiation falling on the planet's surface. Were the ice caps to appreciably recede, sunlight that otherwise would have been reflected back into space would get absorbed by the darker, denser mass of ocean and land beneath. As light is absorbed, the environment is heated, thus intensifying a feedback loop: a warmer planet yields more ice melting thus an even warmer planet.
IS THE OCEAN RISING?
Of the many concerns voiced by scientists who study global warming trends, rising ocean levels is one of the most dramatic. An average rise in global ocean levels of just a few inches could have devastating effects on coastal towns, cities, and ecosystems.
Why then is even the slightest risk of a shrinking polar cap not sounding alarms all across the world's lowland regions?
It comes down to a simple principle proved thousands of years ago by the Greek philosopher and scientist Archimedes. He showed that a body, in this case the floating ice of the North Pole, immersed in a fluid, is buoyed up by a force equal to the weight of the displaced fluid. In other words, since the northern pack ice is already floating its melting would not independently cause ocean levels to rise. However, the attending planetary conditions necessary to facilitate polar melting would likely have other enormous effects on the environment.
These include the likely melting of the ice sheets covering Greenland and the vast reaches blanketing southern polar cap. As the ice over Greenland and Antarctica is NOT floating, a corresponding rise in the world's sea level would almost certainly result if it melted.
OBSERVATIONS FROM ABOVE-
NASA'S EARTH OBSERVING FLEET
From space, the whole world unfolds every day. Orbiting the planet more than ten times a day, NASA's Earth Observing Fleet is uniquely able to make the kinds of measurements that experts need to track systemic changes on the Earth below.With regard to studies about the Earth's cryosphere, several space-based systems stand out. For starters, there's the AMSR-E instrument flying on the Aqua satellite. A sensor that measures microwave emissions, AMSR-E can make precise measurements about overall snow and ice coverage to a degree never before possible. The Aqua satellite blasted into space on May 4, 2002.There's the ICESat spacecraft, launched January 12, 2003. With its one scientific instrument called GLA, ICESat continues to deliver state of the art measurements of changing surface features of worldwide ice cover. By pulsing a laser 40 times a second and measuring its reflected light, the GLAS instrument will be an important tool for tracking changes in the Arctic and elsewhere.There's an instrument called MODIS, flying on both the Terra and Aqua satellites that can determine precise color measurements of the Earth below. In terms of science, color is information, and with MODIS's superbly sensitive capabilities, fine details about terrestrial features are just now beginning to resolve.The POES spacecraft belong to NASA's sibling agency NOAA. But using data from this Earth observing workhorse, researchers continue to make important observations about thermal emissions and other characteristics about the planet below.