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  #1  
Old 09-13-2007
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Melting Ice - Northwest Passage opening up

There is a great story in today's Wall Street Journal, "As Arctic Ice Melts, Northwest Passage Beckons Sailors." It is on the front page!! To have a sailing story on the front page of the WSJ is rare of course. For me it meant I didn't have to log onto Sailnet until after I read the journal

The story is written about a 76-year-old "Minnesota pig farmer turned yachtsman" sailing on his 57 foot Ketch on the 3,000+ mile trip across the Arctic Ocean. He had tried the passage before and got stuck in the ice and had to wait until the ice melted and narrowly escaped alive, but this year the melting ice has made it an easy journey. The goal was to make it all the way across.

He made a third attempt, and according to the article, because of the melting ice he became the first American yacht to make the east-west trip in a single year.

Here are a few of the paragraphs I found interesting –

Quote:
In the past six years, as climate change has steadily thawed the arctic, more recreational boats have crossed the passage than in the first 95 years since Roald Amundsen pioneered the route between 1903 and 1906. The hope, then and now, was to establish a trade route from the Atlantic to the Pacific.

This summer, sailors like Mr. Swanson are breezing through the famously inhospitable 3,200-mile passage in weeks instead of years. And there's barely an iceberg to photograph as a souvenir.

Last month in tiny Cambridge Bay, where the waterfront is lined with rusted, hulking fuel tanks, James Allison and his father docked their boat "Luck Dragon" next to Mr. Swanson's "Cloud Nine." Mr. Allison expected to be the first Englishman to sail the passage. Comparing their smooth travels with the hardships of his predecessors, he smiled sheepishly.

"I feel like a bit of a fraud, really," Mr. Allison said. "It's all been quite comfortable." Soon, such journeys could become routine. Scientists predict a long-term thaw in the far north will open the passage to safe commercial shipping as early as 2020.

Since 1979 -- when satellites made accurate monitoring possible -- arctic ice has receded by an average of 38,000 square miles a year, says Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center. And while the passage is impossible to navigate some summers, this month there has been less ice than at any time in at least a century.

"What we're seeing in 2007 appears to be unprecedented," says Mr. Serreze. "This is the first time the passage has ever been entirely ice free." Starting with John Cabot in 1497, explorers spent centuries searching for a passage through all the ice and islands that lie across the top of Canada. Those men left dozens of names like Frobisher, Hudson and Baffin on the map and hundreds of corpses in the
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Old 09-13-2007
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"Since 1979 -- when satellites made accurate monitoring possible -- arctic ice has receded by an average of 38,000 square miles a year, says Mark Serreze, a senior research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Center. And while the passage is impossible to navigate some summers, this month there has been less ice than at any time in at least a century."

I find it odd that we never heard of the melting back in 1979. Being in school then, you would think that it would have been a huge debate and floor discussion. Never heard of this till a decade ago when the politicians and scientists decided to shine the light on the ozone layer and greenhouse effects. Now it's climate change.

Well in this case for the sailors, it's a good thing.

Let the politicians bring on more propaganda and fear mongoring to keep the scientists employed while they find no cure to our problems.
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Old 09-13-2007
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Originally Posted by canadianseamonkey View Post
Well in this case for the sailors, it's a good thing.
Yes, catastrophic climate change is a good thing. Jeezus kee-ryst.

Scientists fear ice caps melting faster than predicted

Paul Brown in Ilulissat
Friday September 7, 2007
Guardian Unlimited

The Greenland ice cap is melting so quickly that it is triggering earthquakes as pieces of ice several cubic kilometres in size break off.
Scientists monitoring events this summer say the acceleration could be catastrophic in terms of sea-level rise and make predictions this February by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change far too low.
The glacier at Ilulissat, which supposedly spawned the iceberg that sank the Titantic, is now flowing three times faster into the sea than it was 10 years ago.
Robert Correll, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Ilulissat today: "We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at two metres an hour on a front 5km [3 miles] long and 1,500 metres deep. That means that this one glacier puts enough fresh water into the sea in one year to provide drinking water for a city the size of London for a year."
Prof Correll is visiting Greenland as part of a symposium of religious, scientific, and political leaders to look at the problems of the island, which has an ice cap 3km thick containing enough water to raise worldwide sea levels by seven metres.
Today leaders of Christian, Shia, Sunni, Hindu, Shinto, Buddhist and Jewish religions took a boat to the tongue of the glacier for a silent prayer for the planet. They were invited by Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians worldwide.
Prof Correll, director of the global change programme at the Heinz Centre in Washington, said the estimates of sea level rise in the IPCC report were conservative and based on data two years old. The predicted rise this century was 20cm to 60cm, but it would be at the upper end of this range at least, he said, and some believed it could be two metres. This would be catastrophic for European coastlines.
He had flown over the Ilulissat glacier and "seen gigantic holes in it through which swirling masses of melt water were falling. I first looked at this glacier in the 1960s and there were no holes. These so-called moulins, 10 to 15 metres across, have opened up all over the place. There are hundreds of them."
He said ice-penetrating radar showed that this melt water was pouring through to the bottom of the glacier creating a lake 500 metres deep which was causing the glacier "to float on land. These melt-water rivers are lubricating the glacier, like applying oil to a surface and causing it to slide into the sea. It is causing a massive acceleration which could be catastrophic."
The glacier is now moving at 15km a year into the sea although in surges it moves even faster. He measured one surge at 5km in 90 minutes - an extraordinary event.
Veli Kallio, a Finnish scientist, said the quakes were triggered because ice had broken away after being fused to the rock for hundreds of years. The quakes were not vast - on a magnitude of 1 to 3 - but had never happened before in north-west Greenland and showed the potential for the entire ice sheet to collapse. Prof Correll said: "These earthquakes are not dangerous in themselves but the fact that they are happening shows that events are happening far faster than we ever anticipated."
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Old 09-13-2007
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Guess this might piss off Panama.
Iffn you are old you might remember----
USSR wanted to put an underwater dam to force a warm current upwards to heat Sibiera---did they?
China denotated a nucular device in the jet stream---Why??
Why is Greenland called that??
Why have they been looking for a Northwest Passage??
Russia claims land under the ice for oil rights--were there dinos there at one time??Hummmm
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Old 09-13-2007
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Cool, time to buy dock space in Palm Springs
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Old 09-13-2007
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See I told you guys, Cow farts!!
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Old 09-13-2007
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See I told you guys, Cow farts!!

It was actually on the news last night. Cow farts and methane gas. Anything to put fear into people.
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Old 09-13-2007
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See Antarctica before it melts !
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Old 09-13-2007
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I still don't understand why - if the Artic Ice has been melting so rapidly since 1979, nothing was said then. Shouldn't they have been concerned? Did the world not have the right to know? Did they want to keep the truth hidden from us like they did In Roswell?
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Old 09-13-2007
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SAVE THE POLAR BEARS!!

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) on September 7 claimed that two-thirds of the world's polar bears may die by 2050 due to global warming. Such claims are strongly contradicted by real-world evidence.
There are currently more than 25,000 wild polar bears in the world, and their numbers are growing – not declining – at an explosive pace in this time of "unprecedented global warming." According to the February 7, 2005 Edinburgh Scotsman ( http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/international.cfm?id=143012005), "The world's polar bear population is on the increase despite global warming.
"According to new research," the Scotsman reports, "the numbers of the giant predator have grown by between 15 and 25 per cent over the last decade.
"We're seeing an increase in bears that's really unprecedented, and in places where we're seeing a decrease in the population it's from hunting, not from climate change," Canadian polar bear expert Mitch Taylor told the Scotsman.
The March 9, 2007 London Telegraph confirmed the ongoing polar bear population explosion ( http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2007/03/09/wpolar09.xml). "A survey of the animals' numbers in Canada's eastern Arctic has revealed that they are thriving, not declining," the Telegraph reports.
"In the Davis Strait area, a 140,000-square kilometre region, the polar bear population has grown from 850 in the mid-1980s to 2,100 today," added the Telegraph.
more....
http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=21961
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