If the earth were as smooth and spherical as only an expert plasterer could render it (pun alert!) it would be entirely covered by ocean several miles deep!
Bear that in mind if you have any doubt that this is a watery planet and that water is by far its most importantconstituent part.
In searching for the average depth of the oceans I came across first this website which I imagine is aimed at school children. www.enchantedlearnin... It contains some interesting information. What struck me most was that the Arctic is BY FAR the shallowest of the oceans which I imagine is not unconnected with its propensity to freeze. It is also by far the smallest in extent, more accurately described in the past as “The Great Polar Basin”.
Average depth in feet ........................ Area in Million Sq Miles
Pacific ....... 15,215 ..................................... 64 million Atlantic ...... 12,881 ..................................... 33 million Indian .........13,002 ..................................... 28 million Southern .... 15,000 ....................................... 8 million Arctic .......... 3,953 ....................................... 5 million
Almost 200 years ago, the President of the Royal Society wrote this to the admiralty :
“It will without doubt have come to your Lordship’s knowledge that a considerable change of climate, inexplicable at present to us, must have taken place in the Circumpolar Regions, by which the severity of the cold that has for centuries past enclosed the seas in the high northern latitudes in an impenetrable barrier of ice has been during the last two years, greatly abated.
(This) affords ample proof that new sources of warmth have been opened and give us leave to hope that the Arctic Seas may at this time be more accessible than they have been for centuries past, and that discoveries may now be made in them not only interesting to the advancement of science but also to the future intercourse of mankind and the commerce of distant nations.”
Just think of it, liberated wimmin dressed up as mediaeval men with mitres on their heads and giving the "sacrament" of "marriage" to eachother.
You couldn't make it up!
This 1851 illustration shows the HMS Investigator on the north coast of Baring Island in the Arctic. Arctic archaeologists have found the ship that forged the final link in the Northwest Passage and was lost in the search for the Franklin expedition.
The international news media are hailing the archaeological find of a British naval ship the HMS Investigator on July 25 in an area far north (600 km) of the Arctic Circle that was previously unreachable due to sea ice. The HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853, but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage.
"Captained by Robert McClure, the Investigator sailed in 1850. That year, McClure sailed the Investigator into the strait that now bears his name and realized that he was in the final leg of the Northwest Passage, the sea route across North America.
But before he could sail into the Beaufort Sea, the ship was blocked by pack ice and forced to winter-over in Prince of Wales Strait along the east coast of Banks Island."
From the Hockey Schtick: The ship had been sent on a rescue mission for 2 other ships mapping the Northwest Passage. Now, thanks to “climate change,” archaeologists working for Parks Canada were finally able to plot a small window of time this summer to allow passage to the ship’s location:
Parks Canada had been plotting the discovery of the three ships for more than a year, trying to figure out how to get the crews so far north. Once they arrived and got their bearings, the task seemed easier than originally thought. It took little more than 15 minutes to uncover the Investigator, officials told The Globe and Mail last week. “For a long time the area wasn’t open, but now it is because of climate change,” said Marc-André Bernier, chief of the Underwater Archaeology Service at Parks Canada.
Interesting that the ship was lost in 1853, right at the end of the Little Ice Age, and coincidentally just 3 years after the start of the HADCRU global temperature record, from which we are led to believe the earth has warmed about 0.7C. If we are seeing “unprecedented” global temperatures and changes in Arctic sea ice, how did the HMS Investigator get this far north at the end of the Little Ice Age?
Willi Dansgaard, who died on January 8 aged 88, was a Danish palaeoclimatologist and the first to realise that the Greenland ice cap was a frozen archive of the world's climate history.
Dansgaard's expertise was in mass spectroscopy, a technique used to elucidate the chemical structure of molecules. In the 1950s he reasoned that he should be able to estimate the earth's surface temperature by using relative abundances of two naturally-occurring isotopes of oxygen in water that falls as rain or snow – oxygen-16, and the much rarer oxygen-18. The latter is slightly heavier, and Dansgaard reasoned that, at colder temperatures, slightly more water molecules containing oxygen-18 would condense as rainfall.
To test his theory he obtained rain samples from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which collected samples from all over the world to track radiation from bomb tests. As he predicted, the isotope ratios proved an excellent predictor of temperature. In 1964 he published his findings in the journal Tellus.
To see if his findings might be confirmed in Arctic ice cores, he visited Camp Century, an American Army base in Greenland, which had been set up as an early warning base for Soviet missile attacks. Dansgaard had been chipping away at the ice cap a few hundred feet at a time, but the Army had a drill that could go down thousands of feet. Collaboration began, and before long the team had drilled several miles down to bedrock.
Subsequently Dansgaard obtained access to the Dye-3 radar station on the ice cap in South Greenland, where the first purely scientific deep ice core drilling project was carried out from 1979 by a Danish-American consortium.
Working with a Swiss colleague, Hans Oeschger, Dansgaard painstakingly pieced together a complete year-by-year reconstruction of the earth's climate going back a million years, through a handful of ice ages.
Among other things, the ice graph confirmed that the 19th century marked the end of a great chill lasting about 600 years, reaching its climax in the 1600s. Then, southern Scandinavia was a few degrees Celsius colder than now, and in London festivals were held on the frozen River Thames.
The scientists also established that the 12th-century Icelandic sagas which accused the Viking adventurer Eric the Red of dreaming up the name "Greenland'' to attract settlers to the icy wastes were being unfair: when Eric had settled there in 985AD, the weather was warmer than when the sagas were written 200 years later.
To their surprise, the scientists also discovered cycles in which drastic climate changes were found to occur much more rapidly than anybody had imagined – over decades, rather than hundreds or thousands of years. About 15,000 years ago, for example, Greenland abruptly warmed by 16 degrees over a period of 50 years. Later studies identified at least 24 of these rapid shifts, now known as Dansgaard-Oeschger events, between 100,000 and 11,500 years ago.
At the time Dansgaard first published his findings, they did not register with scientists as an important indicator of future climate trends.
One finding was that temperatures and the levels of greenhouse gases in the ice cores move broadly in tandem with each other. Though Dansgaard avoided becoming involved in the wider political debate about global warming, this finding, along with the discovery of abrupt and devastating climatic "flips", fed into the 1992 Rio Framework Convention, which called for measures to prevent "dangerous" climate change.
Willi Dansgaard was born in Copenhagen on August 30 1922 and educated at the university there, taking a doctorate in Physics. He first travelled to Greenland in 1947 to study magnetism and was "bitten by Greenland for life".
Dansgaard later organised or participated in more than 19 expeditions to the glaciers of Norway, Greenland and Antarctica, and went on to develop ways to date gases trapped in the ice as well as to analyse acidity, dust and other influences on climate, including volcanic eruptions.
Thus, analyses of the acidity levels in ice cores have shown that a particularly large eruption produced of acidic fallout on Greenland for three years roundabout 50BC (possibly supporting accounts of a dimming of the sun after Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44BC, which is reported in the writings of Virgil and Pliny the Elder).
Two sharp peaks in acidity attributed to sulphuric acid from major volcanic eruptions, probably in the remote Arctic, occurred in 1601 and 1602, when contemporary accounts reported that the sun and moon appeared "reddish, faint and lacked brilliance".
Efforts to pinpoint the catastrophic volcanic eruption of Thera, in the Aegean Sea, that is said to have formed the basis for the Atlantis legend and perhaps contributed to the downfall of the Minoan civilisation, yielded a date of 1390BC – with an error margin of 50 years.
In 1995 Dansgaard shared the Crafoord Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy with Nicholas Shackleton, and the following year shared the Tyler Prize, the highest award in environmental science, with Oeschger and Claude Lorius.
Willi Dansgaard is survived by his three children.
Post by nickcosmosonde on Feb 18, 2011 2:06:36 GMT
I imagine they'd say what I say - I don't know. And neither does anyone else.
Maybe they'd say a bit more, if they were brave or contentious. Like - we've seen all this so-called evidence before, many many times. Or - the Greenhouse Effect is undoubtedly real, but no one can tell to what extent, or what underlying variation is also occurring, and in fact you might very well be grateful for as much of it as you can get. Or - no one knows what drives the weather, yet, but whatever it is it's a helluva lot more powerful than anything man can do about it. Or - if you're going to spend hundreds of billions trying to influence the climate, forget it, because you ahven't a hope in hell; spend it on something worthwhile instead, like cutting down population growth. Or - the state of the international sceintific community these days makes me want to give up in despair! Or - I don't trust these figures!
I think the intellectual mediocrities who people orthodox IPCC climatology have grossly underestimated their ignorance of the natural world, Nick. When you're part of an industry-cum-political movement consuming billions in grants and research you can't just say "We don't know" or "It's just too difficult for us to measure". That's not their function, anyway. Their function is to justify a pre-arranged policy.
I, too think it would be a good idea to be energy sufficient and rely far less on imported oil. But it is not necessary to distort empirical observation to achieve these policy changes.