Friday, May 18, 2007

Faster and Faster

Just when we needed some good news we find out that atmospheric warming is probably going to go faster than previously thought. Most of the models of the atmosphere are based up the assumption that the Southern ocean around Antarctica would continue to absorb or sink about 25% of the human output of carbon (CO2) that it historically has. Whoops! New data point.

The Southern Ocean around Antarctica is so loaded with carbon dioxide that it can barely absorb any more, so more of the gas will stay in the atmosphere to warm up the planet, scientists reported Thursday.

...."We thought we would be able to detect these only the second half of this century, say 2050 or so," [said researcher Corinne Le Quere]. But data from 1981 through 2004 show the sink is already full of carbon dioxide. "So I find this really quite alarming."

What this means is that when you look at the ranges the scientists give for Global Warming you need to think on the high end and maybe a little higher.

Then there is this little tidbit:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Vast areas of snow in Antarctica melted in 2005 when temperatures warmed up for a week in the summer in a process that may accelerate invisible melting deep beneath the surface, NASA said on Tuesday.

A new analysis of satellite data showed that an area the size of California melted and then re-froze -- the most significant thawing in 30 years, the U.S. space agency said.


They found evidence of melting in several areas, including high elevations and far inland in January of 2005, when temperatures got as high as 41 degrees Fahrenheit (5 degrees Celsius).

Have a nice day!

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