Sunday, November 27, 2005

CSI: Global Warming

So let me get this straight: The Bush Administration can readily see non-existent weapons of mass destruction, but they can't evidence of global warming when it's staring them right in the face?

Exhibit One: Tropical storm Delta continues to swirl out in the North Atlantic. Delta is the 25th tropical storm/hurricane of the season, shattering the previous record of 21 which had stood since 1933.

But beyond the number of storms is the more important issue of their strength. Sure, major hurricanes periodically hit the United States or central America. There was Camille in 1969, Hugo in 1989, and Andrew in 1992. About ten years ago when such storms began developing more regularly with Opal in 1995 and Fran a year later (Retired hurricane names).

But it wasn't until last year that things seemingly crazy with Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne all hitting Florida. Still, many people dismissed 2004 as a fluke.... Until 2005 rolled around. Does anyone need a reminder of the names Katrina, Rita, and Wilma? While "storm scientists" used to think that periods of intense hurricanes came in cycles, a new concern is beginning to emerge: That Global warming is making itself felt.

Exhibit Two: Scientists in Antarctica, apparently bored and looking for something to do, found a really big drill and decided, what the hell, let's drill up some ice. Afterwards they decided to analyze their samples and discovered that Earth's current carbon dioxide levels are the highest they've been at any time in the last 650,000 years. They reached this conclusion by analyzing air bubbles found in the core samples.

Afterwards they chopped up the ice into little cubes and had cocktails.

Exhibit three: There is increasing evidence that the permafrost in Alaska is melting faster, and this is creating problems of its own. As the ice further down in the soil melts, trees on the surface become unstable and tilt. In some cases entire villages have had to be relocated because the buildings began to sink into the muck. Satellite imagery has also shown Arctic sea ice to be shrinking at an alarming level.

0 thoughtful ramblings: