Friday, April 23, 2010
Bestselling author Alan Weisman writes an op-ed today on CNN's website. As near as I can tell, the topic is volcanos, and while I cannot be sure that Weisman wrote the headline ("Is the earth striking back?"), he might consider a career writing scripts for Hollywood disaster movies.
Both Iceland and the United States exalt democracy as a social achievement worthy of lasting an eternity. Yet the latter's unprecedented strength has derived not just from enlightened government, but from the release of its own hot clouds: exhaust from its vast industries, fleets and mechanized agriculture.(Emphasis added)
As we have learned, these gases form an invisible barrier that, like a greenhouse's glass ceiling, keeps reflected heat of the sun from escaping our atmosphere. The denser that gaseous barrier grows, the hotter things get and the faster glaciers melt.
As they flow off the land, we are warned, seas rise. Yet something else is lately worrying geologists: the likelihood that the Earth's crust, relieved of so much formidable weight of ice borne for many thousands of years, has begun to stretch and rebound.
Short version - Gaia: "Oh, I feel so bloated today."
I guess we are going to need a lot of virgins to sacrifice.
prostitution, over abundance of cats and dogs, mosquitoes, flies, diseases, melting glaciers, advancing glaciers, drought, flood, high temperatures, low temperatures, changes in bird migration, changes back to old bird migration, moths, bats going crazy, honey bees going rampage mode everywhere, honey bees disappearing, too much snow, not enough snow, invasive species spreading, invasive species dying, racism, rapes, murders, thefts, more storms, not enough storms, more lightning, lack of lightning, too much wind, not enough wind.
You may be familiar with Krakatoa in Indonesia. It blows up every 500 years or so to spectacular effect. The one in 1883 was a doozy.
"In the year following the eruption, average global temperatures fell by as much as 1.2 °C (2.2 °F). Weather patterns continued to be chaotic for years, and temperatures did not return to normal until 1888."
This is on the same order of magnitude for global warming predicted by AGW believers to happen over decades. I think they're wrong, but Krakatoa gives perspective.
Krakatoa had a Volcanic Explosivity Index of 6, Mt St Helens in 1980 was a 5. 6s and even 7s are commonplace in geolgic time.
"The eruption darkened the sky worldwide for years afterwards, and produced spectacular sunsets throughout the world for many months."
researchers proposed the idea that the blood-red sky shown in Edvard Munch's famous 1893 painting The Scream is also an accurate depiction of the sky over Norway after the eruption. Munch said: "suddenly the sky turned blood red ... I stood there shaking with fear and felt an endless scream passing through nature."
Those crazy Norwegians ....
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing. He's talking about a post-glacial process known as isostasy, in which the land compressed under a kilometer or more of Pleistocene ice sheet actually does bounce back and continues to do so for thousands of years. Freed of ice 12,000 years ago, much of Scandinavia is still rising. Parts of northern Sweden are 100 meters or more above where they were 12,000 years ago. But isostatic rebound is a s-l-o-w process, and it doesn't cause volcanos. In any event, much Arctic ice is sea ice, so there's no underlying land to rebound, much less "stretch".
More knowledge is always better:
It's pretty speculative at this point, especially regarding time frame. But not ridiculous.
The connection of ongoing climate change to recent major quakes doesn't have any connection to science, though.
Let me see if I get this straight.
First they were screaming about the hole in the ozone layer (basically letting heat escape into space, causing global cooling)
Now it is "Global warming"
Will these guys make up their mind? Will they EVER shut up or is it always no matter what happens in the environment, they'll be screaming for more statism?
The problem with the hole in the ozone layer (and the likelihood that it would expand to cover the USA) was not about losing heat to space. It was about UV radiation getting through the hole, and causing skin cancer, crop damage, etc.
That is why corrective measures were taken.
Note to Don Cox: Yes, Greenland will probably experience a considerable amount of isostatic rebound if its ice cover ever shrinks or melts completely. But that isn't happening anytime soon. --Anon 4/23 7:14