The chicken little theory that the ice cap will disappear permanently appears to have been disproven; as someone who has a modicum of intution, I could have told you that viewpoint was to be taken with a grain of salt. Unfortunately for many of the cherry picking “climate scientists”, the earth isn’t as dumb of a system as they would think; it actually balances itself out quite nicely.
Current sea ice measurements indicate:
…at the south pole the sea ice around Antarctica is actually increasing. The ice there has been covering another 100,000 square km more sea each decade for the last 30 years, despite the well-publicised losses of ice shelf in the Western Antarctic.
Here’s the full article:
No ‘tipping point’ for Arctic sea ice – latest science
Polar cap would be back 2 yrs after an ice-free summer
By Lewis Page
OK, so the floating Arctic ice cap appears to be shrinking. Catastrophe if it goes on, right? As white ice reflects heat into space, past a certain point more and more heat will not be reflected, more and more ice will melt. Past such a “tipping point”, the ice cap would never recover – it would vanish completely, taking with it the ice cover of Greenland which would cause huge rises in sea levels and Biblical flooding worldwide.
Not so much, according to the latest research by German climate scientists. It seems that even in the case of a completely ice-free summer with the sun shining down onto an unprotected Arctic Ocean 24 hours a day (as it does in summer time up there), the heat absorbed by the sea would not be enough to permanently remove the ice cap. It would recover, in fact, within two years: there is no tipping point.
According to Steffen Tietsche, a polar ice expert at the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, this is because removal of ice works two ways. It lets the sun’s rays warm the ocean beneath more strongly, but it also lets heat escape from the sea more easily. Thus, following an ice-free summer the Arctic will shed the extra heat fast due to the lack of its usual igloo-like ice blanket. Soon it will be so cold that the ice will reappear.
Tietsche and his colleagues write:
We examine the recovery of Arctic sea ice from prescribed ice-free summer conditions in simulations of 21st century climate in an atmosphere–ocean general circulation model. We find that ice extent recovers typically within two years.
The excess oceanic heat that had built up during the ice-free summer is rapidly returned to the atmosphere during the following autumn and winter, and then leaves the Arctic partly through increased longwave emission at the top of the atmosphere and partly through reduced atmospheric heat advection from lower latitudes. Oceanic heat transport does not contribute significantly to the loss of the excess heat.
Our results suggest that anomalous loss of Arctic sea ice during a single summer is reversible, as the ice–albedo feedback is alleviated by large-scale recovery mechanisms. Hence, hysteretic threshold behavior (or a “tipping point”) is unlikely to occur during the decline of Arctic summer sea-ice cover in the 21st century.
Details of the full paper in Geophysical Research Letters can be read here.
So the gradual decline in ice extent seen in recent decades may continue, but even if a very hot summer seriously eats away at the sea ice – even so much as to completely melt it all – it will recover; there will be no sudden disaster this century.
Meanwhile down at the south pole the sea ice around Antarctica is actually increasing. The ice there has been covering another 100,000 square km more sea each decade for the last 30 years, despite the well-publicised losses of ice shelf in the Western Antarctic.
Gray water is the kind of water which comes out of your shower, sink or washer. It is one of the untapped resources in the conventional home design. Usually this water is wasted, by being sent into the sewage drain; however, this water can be reused for a variety of purposes in which non-potable water is useful.
Typically there are two uses for gray water: irrigating lawns/gardens and flushing toilets. Since most individuals are already doing these things; gray water can replace the need to treat water and sewage, creating a tremendous long-term environmental and economic benefit.
Gray water systems can be installed by individuals without specialized knowledge. The price of systems starts as low as $200 for a very basic system which reuses water from the washing machine for lawn/garden irrigation. Higher end systems filter and/or treat the water for reuse in toilets and other applications which require cleaner water.
How to Implement a Greywater System for Your Garden
Google Tech Talk
May 12, 2010
Presented by Laura Allen and Gregory Bullock.
Laura Allen and Gregory Bullock describe how Greywater can green an increasingly parched California, and what Googlers can do to help. Are there such things as waste, or just resources that are currently misplaced? Greywater (water that comes from sinks, showers, and washing machines) turns wasterwater and its nutrients into irrigation water, saving time, money, and fresh drinking water. Whats more plants love it, especially fruit trees, berries and vines. Last year California rewrote its greywater code, making simple greywater reuse legal and affordable. Learn the why and hows of greywater reuse, and how to transform your household plumbing into a greywater irrigation system.
Laura is a founding member of Greywater Action and has spent a decade exploring low-tech, urban sustainable water solutions. She has a BA in Environmental Science, a teaching credential and a masters in education from New College of CA. She is a co-editor of the anthology Dam Nation: Dispatches from the Water Underground. Laura leads classes and workshops on urban ecological sanitation technologies of rainwater harvesting, greywater reuse and composting toilets. Laura also works with the Greywater Alliance to help remove institutional barriers to sustainable water use.
Greg is the founder of Bang for your Green Buck, an environmental enterprise that designs sustainable, productive landscapes that grow food through greywater irrigation and rain harvesting. Having built a successful career as a management consultant principally focused on increasing talent, performance and organizational development within Fortune 500 companies, he decided to leverage these nurturing skills to focus on converting wasteful lawns into orchards and positively addressing the water crisis of California. Greg is a graduate of the first Greywater Installers Certification Course, and is also a sustainable landscaper. He also holds a Masters Degree in Business Strategy and Marketing.
When driving through suburban streets, do you ever get the feeling that something isn’t quite right? Maybe there is something that we can do with our land to make it more than just a place for useless, allergen producing, grasses to grow; but instead a place where we can experience beauty and create a wide variety of fresh foods in the process. Then it is time we realized that we can have beauty and productivity on our land, it is up to each of us to create it and it isn’t as difficult as you might think. (more…)
We really should be proud of ourselves. At this time, there is now an island TWICE the size of Texas in the Pacific Ocean. Also, plastic particles now outnumber plankton 6 to 1.
It really is pitiful that we have sunk to this level, where wild animals can no longer go about there lives without being constantly bombarded by the plastic bags that we don’t even need to use.
During the last couple of decades, biotechnological innovations were sped through the governments of the world. Anyone in these governments who stood in the way was dismissed from their position.
Monsanto is the company which is chiefly responsible for the changes to our agricultural system. Monsanto has been found to have dumped toxic PCB’s in Anniston, Alabama, USA. a move which cost the company 700 Million dollars in lawsuits. (more…)
Dennis Weaver, the US retired actor, builds himself a mansion made almost entirely from recycled tires and dirt. This is eco-modernization, proving once and for all that eco-friendly design and construction/building does not have to smell or look funny.
In fact, it is cheaper, quicker, easier and safer to construct such an ‘earthship’ than any conventional construction technique! This is eco-rationality in action. Prepare to be amazed.
Anyone who gets email has seen the one containing fraudulent predictions of Nostradamus. About four years ago, I received a similarly suspicious email stating that a researcher had found six times more plastic than plankton floating in the middle of the Pacific. This one struck a chord with me because of my knowledge of plastics. I wanted to find out if it was just a prank or, heaven forbid, the truth.
I tracked down the source, which was Captain Charles Moore, the founding director of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation (AMRF). He sent me a study he coauthored: “A comparison of plastic and plankton in the North Pacific central gyre” from Marine Pollution Bulletin — a well-respected, peer reviewed, scientific journal. The study substantiated his claim that “the mass of plastic was approximately six times that of plankton.” A large percentage of that is made up of tiny bits of plastic — called nurdles — that have not yet been made into a product. (more…)
The Chinese government has finally revealed how they plan on playing God with the weather. They are planning on firing chemical filled rockets into the clouds to disperse any potential storms during the 2008 Summer Olympics.
China to zap rain clouds with rockets
BEIJING (Reuters) – China will fire rockets into the sky to scatter any rain clouds ahead of next year’s Beijing Olympics to ensure perfect weather, state media said on Tuesday.
China has already guaranteed perfect weather for the August 2008 Games, but until now had not said how it would make sure its forecast comes true.
Zheng Guoguang, head of the China Meteorological Association, announced the decision to use rockets in Beijing on Monday, the China Daily said.
“As summer is a rainy season, this practice will become the focus of the meteorological services for the Games which will be held in the same season next year,” he was quoted as saying.
China’s Olympic hosts fear the normally bone-dry capital’s stormy August weather could put a damper on the Games, and worry that an untimely deluge could affect the opening ceremony on August 8 at the uncovered National Stadium.
Beijing, which is chronically short of water, is well practiced at firing chemical-infused rockets into clouds to prompt a much-needed downpour, but organizers concede rain prevention remains a much tougher prospect.
The U.S. Army, in its infinite wisdom, decided that the best way to dispose of its life-eradicating trash is in the world’s oceans. They do all of this despite the fact that such dumping has a major effect on marine wildlife. No real surprises here, however, since they have repeatedly demonstrated that this is what the Army is good at, destroying life in whatever way is convenient.
Munitions Dumping at Sea
It is no secret that the U.S. military has used the ocean as trashcan for munitions in the past. Peter discussed at the Old DSN how federal lawmakers were pressing the US Army to reveal everything it knows about a massive international program to dump chemical weapons off homeland and foreign shores. “The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste – either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.” Brian pointed me to the Daily Press’s in depth coverage of this whole issue. Registration is free and only takes a minute or two and is extremely worthwhile. Included at the site are maps of disposal sites (downloadable as pdfs), stories, descriptions of items dumped including nerve and musturd gas, and rather depressing pictures some are below the fold (all from Daily Press). (more…)