The only way this insanity can be associated with folks called Progressive is to shout down rational debate. And that is what happens over at Kos. Point out the failings of Obama’s neoliberalism and you get shouted down by the Obamabots. Criticize the foreign policy and the Zionists will be screaming about anti-semitism by the third comment. And so on. The good writers have mostly fled because WHO needs that sort of abuse?
I don’t know whether to think a lame NN lineup that utterly ignores all the big issues like peak oil, the collapsing infrastructure, debt restructuring, long-term joblessness, never-ending wars, climate change, peak food, the lack of a Progressive narrative, etc. is that way because the NN folks aren’t very aware or imaginative, or that this is a deliberate attempt to lead the Progressive impulse into an irrelevant little pen where we can all be safely castrated?
Arctic melts faster than IPCC's forecasts
As a fortnight of climate talks wrap up in Bonn, the latest scientific data on the rate of Arctic warming show dramatic levels of melting and sea level rise occurring far faster than previous estimates.
When the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was published in 2007, there was a lack of data on the Arctic, so the panel left a big source of potential sea-level-rise out of its projections for this century.
It estimated a conservative rise of about 18 to 59 centimeters. Many scientists have suspected that the IPCC's projections underestimate the pace of change and the latest research appears to back them up.
Unprecedented Arctic ice melt
New findings by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP), a working group of the Arctic Council, reveal unprecedented rates of change in the Arctic Ocean, the mass of the Greenland ice sheet and the region's ice caps and glaciers over the past ten years.
The research confirms that warming in the Arctic has been occurring at twice the global average warming trend since 1980.
Surface air temperatures in the Arctic since 2005 have been higher than for any five-year period since measurements began around 1880, and summer temperatures in the region have been higher in the past few decades than at any time in the past 2,000 years.
Although there is a very high degree of variability in the state of sea ice from year to year,
Sebastian Gerland – one of the report's contributors from the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsö - says long-term monitoring at various points in different Arctic regions shows clear trends: Too little ice, shorter winter seasons when freezing takes place and an early onset of spring and summer melting.
"The clarity of that trend is very striking," says the sea ice expert. Indeed, during the last five years, sea ice in the Arctic summer has retreated to its lowest levels since satellite measurements began in 1979.
Gerland stresses that sea ice in the Arctic is not just of local importance. As well as its influence on the ecosystem in the Arctic, it also actively influences the global climate. The white ice floating on top reflects solar radiation back up into the atmosphere. Without it, the heat is absorbed by the dark ocean.
This feedback effect had been anticipated by climate scientists, but clear evidence that a warmer climate has in turn intensified the warming trend has only been observed in the Arctic in the past five years.
Another of these feedbacks referenced in the AMAP report is melting permafrost.
The permafrost stores large amounts of methane, which is around 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) as a greenhouse gas.
The report indicates that melting permafrost areas can potentially release large amounts of stored methane, as well as CO2, into the atmosphere.
Volker Rachold, Executive Secretary of the International Arctic Science Committee, based in Germany, warns this process could in turn further influence the climate beyond humans' control. more