Wednesday, November 29, 2006


naval operations in an ice-free arctic

I always get a chuckle out of the folks who say "some scientists" question global warming... because the US NAVY sure as hell doesn't have any question about it. This slide from one of the presentations makes it pretty clear what NOAA thinks the Arctic is going to look like in the next few decades. This and much more data is provided in this recently declassified report:

It's called "Naval Operations in an Ice Free Arctic"

The big predictions:
· Within five years, the Northern Sea Route (aka the Northeast Passage) will be open to non-ice-strengthened vessels for at least two months each summer.

· Within 5-10 years, the Northwest Passage will be open to
non-ice-strengthened vessels for at least one month each summer

· Both Russia and Canada assert policies holding navigable straits in the NSR and Northwest Passage under their exclusive control. The United State differs in its interpretation of the status of these straits, with a potential for conflict

· Within 5-10 years, the Sea of Okhotsk and the Sea of Japan will remain ice-free throughout the year.

This raises at least one interesting question. Why are the tree-huggers in the navy all worked up over this? It means the navy will need a whole new fleet to defend/patrol these waters! That's a lot of ships. Of course these hemp-wearing, granola-munching, denizens of the reality-based world don't have much impact on the opinions of shills like Krauthammer. I am still steamed about his crap from last year following Katrina. He seriously argued in an op-ed piece there was no relationship between warmer water and hurricane strength. Talk about not having a leg to stand on....

Krauthammer's point was ludicrous to the point of irresponsible. Of course there is a relationship between global warming and the intensity of hurricanes. The fact that people are publishing this in places like Science and Nature and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science demonstrates just how well this stuff is understood by scientists. The fact that the people arguing the opposite are shills for oil,coal,automotive, and deforestation interests does nothing to undercut the scientific consensus.

Here's another slide from one of the presentations, in case you think they are unclear on the concept:

This just makes last week's news regarding NTSA's refusal of 50,000 free copies of An Inconvenient Truth all the more outrageous. It is a clear example of the sort of politically motivated ostrich behavior we have grown accustomed to over the last several years. But that's not the worst part. Scalia's ad lib during today's oral arguments shows how positively surreal this whole debate has become. When he was corrected for not knowing the difference between the stratosphere and troposphere he responded by saying, "I told you I'm not a scientist. That's why I don't want to deal with global warming."

The sad truth is whether Justice Scalia likes it or not, we are all going to be dealing with global warming for one simple reason: The laws of physics are strictly enforced. If you don't want to take my word for it, ask Sonny Bono.

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