Need Proof of Global Warming?

truffler1635 at truffler1635 at
Mon Aug 21 22:23:12 EST 2000

>From The Oregonian, Aug. 19, 2000, p A4

Global warming is suspected as open water is seen at the pole for the
first time in possibly 50 million years

By JOHN NOBLE WILFORD, New York Times News Service

	The North Pole is melting.
	The thick ice that has for ages covered the Arctic Ocean at the pole
has turned to water, recent visitors there reported Friday. At least for
the time being, an ice-free patch of ocean about a mile wide has opened
at the very top of the world, something that has presumably never before
been seen by human beings and is more evidence that global warming may be
real and already affecting climate.
	The last time scientsts can be certain the pole was awash in water
was more than 50 million years ago. "It was totally unexpected," said
James J. McCarthy, an oceangrapher, director of the Museum of Comparative
Zoology at Harvard University and the Co-leader of a group working for
the U.N.-sponsored Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel
is studying the potential environmental and economic consequences of
marked climate change.
	McCarthy was a lecturer on a tourist cruise in the Arctic aboard a
Russian icebreaker earlier this month. On a similar Arctic cruise six
years ago, he recalled, the icebreaker plowed through an icecap 6 to 9
feet thick at the North Pole.
	This time, ice was generally so thin that sunlight could penetrate
and support concentrations of plankton growing under the ice. McCarthy
said the Russian captain of the icebreaker, who has made the voyage 10
times in recent years, said he had never before encountered open water at
the pole.
	Another lecturer, Malcolm C. McKenna, a paleontologist at the
American Museum of Natural History in New York, said the ship, the Yamal,
crunched through miles of unusually thin ice and intermittent open water
on the approach from Spitsbergen, Norway, to the pole. When the ship
reached the pole - which McKenna and his wife, Priscilla, confirmed with
a hand-held Global Positioning System navigation device - water lapped
its bow.
	The Yamal eventually had to steam six miles away to find ice thick
enough for the 100 passengers to get out and be able to say they had
stood on the North Pole, or close to it. They saw ivory gulls flying
overhead, the first time ornithologists said they had ever been sighted
at the pole.
	Recalling the reaction of passengers when they saw an iceless North
Pole, McCarthy said: "There was a sense of alarm. Global warming was
real, and we were seeing its effects for the first time that far north."

Comment by Poster: Once in "more than 50 million years" seems a pretty
convincing argument for stating global warming. It certainly goes beyond
those arguing the Earth is currently is a 14,000-15,000 warming trend.
Let's see: 15,000 goes into 50 million...

Now the only thing to worry about is how to start reducing greenhouse
gases, such as CO2, O3 (did you know ozone was a greenhouse gase as
well?); SO2, H2S04, CO, methane, etc. One of the best ways to reduce
global warming while decreasing dependency on fossil fuels is to convert
wood debris into wood pellets, then burn these to generate electricity.
Yes, it does create pollution, but relatively clean pollution. The by-
products: mostly potash, becomes fertilizer to be re-added to tree crops
for increased growth. Those already growing hybrid cottonwood and willow
have shown the way to incorporate this technology into new energy
development. It is also a wonderful way to utilize excess biomass
accumulation from national forest stands left too long without fire. Why
not chip some of the smaller woody-debris from thinning operations to
create more wood chip pellets?

There are still concerns about the effulent produced during the creation
of wood pellets. I suspect that fungi are already known or can be
developed to deal with that effulent effectively. Certainly fungal
degradation of the effulent makes more sense than adding it to landfills.

What do others think?

Daniel B. Wheeler

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