global climate disruption

Climate Disruption and the Arctic Conveyor

  • Posted on: 19 December 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

I've seen more battalions of climate deniers lately than I care to even acknowledge. They engage in a game of dangerous anti-intellectualism and prefer to dwell in a place of self-enforced ignorance, where they receive as well as cultivate ongoing support for their fallacies.

This piece isn't to waste time on them, or their highly funded interest in climate denial that special interests funnel a steady flow of money into.

A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance. ~Saul Bellow

Let them be ignorant, and reduced to the blather of background noise. This piece is simply a short inquiry for those who dwell in reality, surrounded by facts and thoughtful pursuits.

Here's the observation (in the form of an excerpt) and the question -- from here:

__________

According to NASA (circa May 2004), there's a potential sometime over the next few decades for melting sea ice to trigger colder weather in Europe and North America.  This isn't the first time we've heard about the effect -- our own Darksyde (Science Friday: Mystery of the Icebox Killer, Fri Sep 09, 2005 at 07:45:05 AM EST) wrote about the possibility a year later, and we've seen a few references to many unexpected changes -- increases -- in the rate of Arctic ice melt not only in 2005 but also in 2007, 2008, 2009 (and here) and 2010 (and here.

So, what's the likelihood now of any effect on the ocean conveyor?

Granted, the past impacts happened when a massive flood of cold fresh water rushed into it -- this time, it's not such an all-at-once scenario.  But -- will the increase impact the conveyor?  Destabilize or shift it?  Alter it's speed, course or charming sense of humor?

__________

...thoughts?

Record Keeping: Signs of Civilization and Its Subsequent Demise

  • Posted on: 26 June 2010
  • By: GreyHawk

The Largest Oil Spills in History, 1901-Present

 ChartsBin.com has a great flash animation on a page titled The Largest Oil Spills in History, 1901-Present.

 Check it out if ever you need to get an idea of the amount and placement of some of the largest oil-related disasters (aside from war) that the global ecology has had to endure.

These spills have an impact not only on any local environment affected but also on any systems that the pollutants pass through as they are dispersed far and wide through the ocean.

The current huge gusher in the Gulf will leave an ecological wound that will impact not only the local communities, but also other ocean-based life -- even if the oil remains relatively close in proximity. [more on affected species] And we already have plenty of indicators that "close proximity" is highly unlikely, with some predictions stating that the oil (including all the accompanying toxins and chemical dispersants) may ride the Gulf Stream for a trans-Atlantic boost to start impacting far-off places like Norway.  The more conservative estimates range from only affecting shores along the inner gulf to tainting shores along the eastern US seaboard.

It's not just oil itself that we have to worry about with regard to polluting our environment.  We have, as a species and particularly as a culture, often regard ourselves as masters of our environment, not subject to or impacted by it, the occasional wild storm tornado, earthquake, fire or flood notwithstanding.  Our habits and self-importance have led to an arrogance and disregard that is getting more difficult to ignore as our everyday overconsumption begins to stress, strain and compromise a variety of systems.  The impact of our negligence is becoming more difficult to ignore, too.  [pacific gyre, domestic drilling, mountaintop removal]

As a parting thought, here's a little something to think about: how much of an impact on our environment do we have simply in pursuit of pleasure? Here's a question and answer that may bear some further investigation, as well as some somber thinking:

 How much pollution do cruise ships dump into our oceans?

Now, I'm off to go wobble der wooblekint ("walk the dogs" in warped English-Germanesque).

Peace.

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Monday Morning Open Thread: Visualizing Greenhouse Gas, Home Science Edition

  • Posted on: 8 March 2010
  • By: Open Thread

Hat-tip Dan Miller of DailyKos and of ClimatePlace.org.

The video makes a simple yet powerful point. Help spread it around.

This is an Open Thread.