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"One glance at a book and you hear the voice of another person, perhaps someone dead for 1,000 years. To read is to voyage through time." Carl Sagan

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Prophets
Daily Planet Book Of Cool Ideas

Daily Planet Book Of Cool Ideas
By Jay Ingram


The Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas - Global Warming and what People are doing about it. by Jay Ingram. The Prophets 

“Americans work their way through something like a hundred billion plastic bags every year.”
 Climate change connects with many other issues in environment including habitat loss, biodiversity, pollution, spread of disease, and price of oil. Ian Connacher a Toronto Canada film maker recently produced a film entitled Addicted to Plastic. Oil is a large part of plastic manufacturing. In fact 100 billion plastic bags equals 12 million barrels of oil. Connacher traveled to the place known as the Central Gyre, a location in the North Pacific where and atmospheric depression creates a type of whirlpool for floating things in the ocean about the size of Western Europe. Here is is estimated that there is ten times more plastic than the organism that normally lives there called phytoplankton. It is also important to realize that only 50% of plastic floats and the rest sinks. Also every piece of plastic that has ever been made still exists. Optimism is on the horizon however in the form of new developments in biodegradable plastic and the reuse of old plastics. A carpet company known as Interface Carpets is now exploring the possibility of mining landfills for plastics and predict landfills will become the oil wells of the future. Connacher also connects the mountains of plastics to all other environmental issues including global warming and blames these problems on bad attitude. The New York Times  seemed to sum this up in the following quote: “If we can’t change our behaviour to deal with this one, we can’t change our behaviour to deal with anything.” -sak
10:30 pm est 

10:29 pm est 

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Extreme Science
Daily Planet Book Of Cool Ideas

Daily Planet Book Of Cool Ideas
By Jay Ingram

The Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas - Global Warming and what People are doing about it. by Jay Ingram.

Extreme Science

1. Studying ocean currents and air masses above them gives climate researchers important data for predicting future changes (Kent Moore) e.g.

(A) Gulf stream brings warmer water north. This influences Europes climate and they suspect it is the warm air mass above the gulf stream that is the biggest influence here.

(B) Powerful winds around Greenland are theorized to influence North American climate.

2. Natural History

As the ice shelves of Antarctica and elsewhere break up at unprecidented rates - life that has been isolated under 70 stories of ice for 1000's of years is now being revealed. With the ice gone this fragile eco system is being changed with many other creatures moving in.

3. Deep Snow - Glaciers

(A) 15000 years ago most of Canada was buried under 3 km thick ice.

(B) The ice was so heavy that the land actually sunk and is still rebounding at about 1 cm/year. this has been going on for 10,000 years and will go on for another 10,000 years.

(C) Glaciers advance and recede at the same time depending on climate conditions. When warming happens it recedes faster than it grows and the glacier can disapear.

(D) Some argue that half of the glaciers on the planet are advancing therefore it is dificult to make specific conclusions on man made global warming.

(E) Kate Sinclair of U of Calgary is studying how glaciers add new ice. How much snow, where it comes from, how it got there. Chemical signatures can indicate origin of snow. Specifically Oxygen and Hydrogen content cand indicate the storms pathway, how far it travelled, and its influence on the glacier. Therefore the chemical signature of teh snow yields some very important clues in the prediction of climate change effects.

8:39 pm est 

Intro
Daily Planet Book Of Cool Ideas

Daily Planet Book Of Cool Ideas
By Jay Ingram

The Daily Planet Book of Cool Ideas - Global Warming and what People are doing about it. by Jay Ingram.

Intro:

1. The world has always warmed and cooled

2. It is definately in a warming trend right now.

3. Question: is it warming faster than ever before.

Warning Signs and data:

1. ICE - disapearing glaciers

2. England - Recorded Temperature records exist since 1659

3. Art & Literature eg. Annual Grape harvest times; writings and paintings, eg. Painting of frozen Thames river illustrates and verifies the little Ice Age in Europe from 1683-84.

4 Tree rings

5. Ice core samples.

Major Results

1. When data is crunched the earths temperature chart from the year 100 to present resembles a hockey stick. It is relatively stable until present and then there is extreme upward rise. The chart resembles a hockey stick with the puck end oriented and pointed up at present.

2. The Keeling graph. When CO2 levels was recorded in Hawaii between 1960 and the present a definate increase was observed. The grenhouse effect has been hypothesized over a 100 years ago. It is a well known phenomena.

Major players in climate change:

1 Green house effect. Atmospheric changes caused by volcano, fires, pollution.

2. The Sun: from 1300-1800 the sun spot activity went down and so did the earth's temperature. The sun's output is therefore not constant. In the next few years the sun will have reduced numbers of sun spots and this is expected to help compensate for the global warming effects. When the sun's activity resumes however the temperature may spike dangerously high.

3. Cosmic Rays: Radio waves from space are known to increase cloud cover.

4. The earth's tilt. As the earth cycles through different wobbles and orientations w.r.t. sun the angle of solar radiation changes and effects overall temperature.

5. Volcanoes: It has been observed that during major volcanoes the earths average temperature can go down by 0.5°C. The carbon from volcano causes heating but the sulphates from the same volcano more than compensates for carbon and the temperature actually goes down.

6. Piollution: SO2 causes a colling effect. Soot and carbon causes a warming effect. The soot also darkens snow causing increased melting of glaciers.

8:38 pm est 


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