Posted at 7:12 AM on November 19, 2007
by Paul Huttner
As the series of 4 IPCC reports came out this year, some scientists began criticizing the reports. They didn't say the reports were alarmist as some critics of global climate change have asserted, they said they weren't alarmist enough!
Well the latest new report which came out Saturday should be sobering to everyone.
We've known our oceans can absorb CO2, but they may be losing their ability to help serve as a "CO2 sink" and this may accelerate the process of global warming in the coming years and decades.
Here are some of the startling conclusions from the new IPCC report:
-CO2 emissions have increased the acidity of the oceans surface water by 30%. This increased acidity (carbonic acid) may be responsible for the mass bleaching & killing of the world's coral reefs. A report from Britain’s Royal Society states that the oceans are now more acidic than at any time in the past 20 million years.
-The oceans have absorbed fully 50% of additional CO2 produced since the start of the Industrial Revolution and this may have slowed the earth's temperature rise until now. As oceans become more acidic they are less able to absorb CO2, and that may increase the rate of planetary warming in the coming decades.
-Atmospheric CO2 levels are now higher than at any time in the past 650,000 years. Global surface temperatures from 11 of the past 12 years are among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record. In other words, only one year of the past 12 has not been among the top 12 warmest years on record.
The puzzle keeps filling in. This September's ice cover in the Arctic Ocean was the lowest on record. There was less than half of the amount of sea ice compared to 1979 when record keeping began. If the trend continues, we may see an ice free Arctic Ocean in the summer in our lifetimes.
This latest report should satisfy the critics of the IPCC's reports. I'm talking about those who think the IPCC isn't sounding enough alarms.
Posted at 1:10 PM on November 19, 2007
by Craig Edwards
You can’t wish it away! It’s frustrating to view satellite imagery knowing that a layer of clouds, less than a quarter mile thick, has stalled and prohibited peeks of sunshine. Forecasters have learned that trying to predict when a fog layer with lift and thin is very challenging. Often, senior meteorologist would stick with the forecast of cloudy until the sun begins to shine and then issue an update.
Shorter daylight and the increased angle of the sun in the northern latitudes limit the burn off potential. Thus when the forecast of a high temperature of 50 degrees hangs in the balance, and the low clouds linger, the meteorologists come back line is, “it was a nice day at four thousand feet.”
Areas of western Minnesota that enjoyed some afternoon sun saw the mercury climb well into the 40s. As we approach Thanksgiving, we’ll be grateful to top out at 30.