Monday, October 10, 2005

Arctic politics and global warming

My friend Jeff in Alaska says my global warming blogging shouldn't ignore what's going on up there. Several developments he mentions:

  • The arctic ice cap is reducing at the rate of about 8% per decade (Ed. note: this might be high - see the comments).
  • Polar bears were found dead in the ocean, apparently they were starving with the ice being too far from land for their prey animals. The weakened bears couldn't make the swim to land.
  • Land around Fairbanks is sinking where the permafrost is melting.
  • The last two summers have been the first and third worst for forest fires.
  • A beatle is killing the spruce trees further north.

More general info here. While you can't draw global conclusions from warming in a geographically-small location, the entire, not-small Arctic is warming, and it verifies global warming predictions that the Arctic would heat up even more than the rest of the world.

There was some silliness at the US Senate a few weeks ago, with global warming testimony by noted idiot Michael Crichton, and by some entertainingly-crazy older guy who is ignoring my invitation to bet me (I had the best luck accessing the realaudio file here). I think all the science bloggers on my blogroll covered the testimony, but I was interested in how the conservative Alaskan senator wasn't as denialist as the rest of her party. I hope anyone who wants to stay in politics for a while might be careful in denying global warming, especially in a place like Alaska where it's so obvious.

key: global warming, science, politics

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