Al Gore, where are you?
Feb. 20 (Bloomberg) — A glitch in satellite sensors caused scientists to underestimate the extent of Arctic sea ice by 500,000 square kilometers (193,000 square miles), a California- size area, the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center said.
The error, due to a problem called “sensor drift,” began in early January and caused a slowly growing underestimation of sea ice extent until mid-February. That’s when “puzzled readers” alerted the NSIDC about data showing ice-covered areas as stretches of open ocean, the Boulder, Colorado-based group said on its Web site.
“Sensor drift, although infrequent, does occasionally occur and it is one of the things that we account for during quality- control measures prior to archiving the data,” the center said. “Although we believe that data prior to early January are reliable, we will conduct a full quality check.’’
By Mick Gregory
Update: Feb. 16, 2009
Former astronaut Harrison Schmitt, who walked on the moon and was elected to the U.S. Senate, doesn’t believe that humans are causing global warming.
“I don’t think the human effect is significant compared to the natural effect,” said Schmitt, who is among 70 skeptics scheduled to speak next month at the International Conference on Climate Change in New York.
Schmitt contends that scientists “are being intimidated” if they disagree with the idea that burning fossil fuels has increased carbon dioxide levels, temperatures and sea levels.
“They’ve seen too many of their colleagues lose grant funding when they haven’t gone along with the so-called political consensus that we’re in a human-caused global warming,” Schmitt said.
Dan Williams, publisher with the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, which is hosting the climate change conference, said he invited Schmitt after reading about his resignation from The Planetary Society, a nonprofit dedicated to space exploration.
Schmitt resigned after the group blamed global warming on human activity. In his resignation letter, the 74-year-old geologist argued that the “global warming scare is being used as a political tool to increase government control over American lives, incomes and decision making.”
Update: Feb. 4, 2009
The Weather Channel reports that 90 percent of the U.S. will reach freezing temeratures tonight.
Update: Feb. 2, 2009
The groundhog says six more weeks of winter.
England has biggest snow cover in more than 20 years.
The heaviest snowfall in 20 years has closed thousands of schools and caused transport chaos up the eastern side of Britain, with London and the surrounding areas the hardest hit.
Six million bus passengers were left in the lurch as all London’s bus services were halted because of dangerous driving conditions, and every Tube line except the Victoria line was at least partially suspended.
Update: Dec. 13-17, 2008, Snow coverage in Malibu, Seattle, Las Vegas, Houston Texas!
Feb. 25, 2008: Snow cover over North America and much of Russia, Mongolia and China is greater than at any time since 1966.
The U.S. National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) reported that many American cities recorded record cold temperatures in January and early February. According to the NCDC, the average temperature in January “was -0.3 F cooler than the 1901-2000 (20th century) average.”
China is experiencing its most brutal winter in a century. Temperatures in the normally balmy south were so low for so long that some middle-sized cities went days and even weeks without electricity because once power lines had toppled it was too cold or too icy to repair them.
NPR fans along with Al Gore and Hillary must be wondering why they called the “crisis” climate change, rather than global warming. Words matter.
No Mr. Gore, the debate is not over.