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Global warming experts - how big a deal is this?

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Target_For_Exterm Donating Member (540 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:35 PM
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Global warming experts - how big a deal is this?
"Ancient ice shelf breaks free in Canadian Arctic

TORONTO - A giant ice shelf has snapped free from an island south of the North Pole, scientists said Thursday, citing climate change as a major reason for the event.

The Ayles Ice Shelf all 41 square miles of it broke clear 16 months ago from the coast of Ellesmere Island, about 500 miles south of the North Pole in the Canadian Arctic.

Scientists discovered the event by using satellite imagery. Within one hour of breaking free, the shelf had formed as a new ice island, leaving a trail of icy boulders floating in its wake."

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16390346 /

This is sure happening a lot. Any of you experts out there know how significant the loss of the Ayles Ice Shelf is?
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autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:42 PM
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1. Have you heard one member of CONGRESS EVER get worked up about
this? Nope. K&R.
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EstimatedProphet Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:42 PM
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2. It ain't good
2 things come to mind:

1) The shelf, when melted, will mean less ice in the Arctic of course. This means more heat absorption. Heating will speed up now.

2) The water will dilute the seawater somewhat. As more and more freshwater is introduced into the system, the decreased density of the surrounding current will impact the Gulf Stream at some point, affecting global climate dramatically and immediately. As in everything north of 45 latitude turns into an icebox almost overnight.

This is not a good thing. I'm beginning to identify with the dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous...
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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:46 PM
Response to Reply #2
5. Gulfstream
When it no longer goes as far north as it now does the heat will be concentrated in the mid Atlantic. I think we are seeing that already.

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n2doc Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:43 PM
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3. It is all part of a trend
By itself, it will not change things much. But each one of these events raises sea level ever so slightly, decreases ice cover (and increases solar energy absorption), changes the local habitat, makes the Arctic less salty, and so on. The classic "frog in a heated pot" case- changes take place slowly enough (although in a geologic blink of an eye) on the time scale of our lives that most don't notice the changes. But there are a lot of changes building up, and we are not preparing for them.
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Bobbieo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:43 PM
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4. Devastating would cover it! It is too bad we cannot
utilize the salt free water. God knows we could use all the fresh water we can get the as the planet is drying up.
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Uncle Joe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Dec-29-06 12:48 PM
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6. To me, it's as sand falling through the hour glass,
time is running out!
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