Friday, June 27, 2008

North Pole Could be Ice-Free This Summer

Arctic sea ice could break apart completely at the North Pole this year, allowing ships to sail over the normally frozen top of the world.

From LiveScience.com

The potential landmark thaw - the first time in human history the pole would be ice-free - is a stark sign of global warming, according to an article Friday on the web site of the The Independent, a London newspaper.

"Symbolically it is hugely important," said Mark Serreze of the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. "There is supposed to be ice at the North Pole, not open water."

Last year, the fabled Northwest Passage opened as Arctic ice retreated more than ever before.

There is no land at the North Pole, but as long as anyone has looked, it has remained a giant block of ice year-round. Scientists have been watching Arctic sea ice melt more and more each year. But each summer in recent years, the amount of ice has gotten thinner and thinner. Each winter's freeze, therefore, results in a thinner pack that, this summer, could melt altogether.

"The issue is that, for the first time that I am aware of, the North Pole is covered with extensive first-year ice," Serreze is quoted by The Independent. "I'd say it's even-odds whether the North Pole melts out."

Russia and other countries, meanwhile, have been arguing over who has rights to the region's resources, including potential oil reserves.


More oil to fight over...great.

Link to full story

AND

The melting Arctic



19 comments:

Tommy said...

I'm sure somehow it is Barack Obama's fault.

Stardust said...

LOL...or the Democratic congress, or all the evil liberal hippies in the world.

OR...there is no problem, we are being duped.

Stardust said...

Have we covered it all, tommy?

DrTedBaehr said...

I recall the Bible specifically mentioning a time when the world was covered by the Flood, and there was no ice caps then. If this is a move towards more Biblical times, then we should welcome it.

Stardust said...

Dr Ted, the Bible is fiction, mythology. There are still large land masses that will be left even if all the ice melts. So, you can stop trying to use this to "prove" your mythology is real. It is not.

DrTedBaehr said...

Can you trust what the Bible says about the crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ in the Passover, Good Friday and other stories in the Bible?

Absolutely, I say!

In the opening to the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Luke in the New Testament, the Greek physician Luke, a close friend of the Apostle Paul, writes, "I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning."

How can we know if this is true? How can we find out if the books of the New Testament are accurate, reliable records of the teachings of Jesus Christ?

In a court of law, the burden of proof for denying the credibility of an eyewitness falls on those who wish to undermine that credibility. An eyewitness should therefore be given the benefit of the doubt "unless we have clear evidence to the contrary."1 Since, however, the New Testament books make great demands on people and their lifestyles, it seems fair to ask what is the evidence to support the historical reliability of these ancient documents.

Historians use two standard tests for determining the reliability of an ancient document like the New Testament. The first test is the bibliographic test. This test asks three questions: 1) How many copies and fragments of copies do we have? 2) Are the copies basically the same, or do they show a wide variety of differences, indicating they have undergone an extensive amount of editing or redaction? 3) What is the time gap between the dates of the copies we have and the approximate date on which the document was probably written? The more copies we have, the more accurate they seem to be, and the closer the time gap, the more reliable the text of the document is.

Using this test, how does the New Testament stack up?

As biblical scholar John A.T. Robinson and other scholars attest, the New Testament books were probably written between 40 A.D. and 70 A.D., although some scholars believe the Apostle John wrote John and Revelation about 95 A.D. or so. The earliest complete copies we have, excluding small fragments, some of which are dated from about 44 A.D. to 130 A.D., can be dated between 300 and 400 A.D., or 260-360 years later. In total, however, we have more than 5,000 Greek copies and fragments, 10,000 Latin Vulgate copies and fragments, and 9,000 other versions of the New Testament dated between 40 and 1200 A.D.. In comparison, we have only 643 manuscripts (copies and fragments) of Homer's Iliad, written about 900 BC, with the earliest extant copy dated 400 BC, 500 years later. Also, we have only ten copies of Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, written 58 to 50 BC, with the earliest copy dated 900 A.D., a gap of almost 1,000 years, and only 21 copies or fragments of the works of Tacitus, written about 100 A.D., with the earliest copy or fragment dated 1000 A.D., a span of 900 years.

Therefore, the Bible is completely true and accurate, and an excellent historical document.

Copies of manuscripts are not the only source of our knowledge about the New Testament documents. Before the Council of Nicea in 325 A.D., the writings of the Ante-Nicene church fathers contain about 32,000 citations of the New Testament text. "Virtually the entire New Testament could be reproduced from citations contained in the works of the early church fathers," says Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland.3 Furthermore, although every church father does not quote every book of the New Testament, every book is quoted as authoritative and authentic by some church father. This indicates that the New Testament writings were "recognized as apostolic [originating from Jesus Christ's own appointed church leaders] from the very beginning."
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth – 1 Cor. 13:6.

Stardust said...

The Bible is true to only those who believe it. Just as the Muslims have their holy books. They believe it to be true, but you do not. Buddhists have their holy books and believe them to be true, but you do not. Scientology has their books and writings but you do not believe those when their believers do. Mormons believe in their holy books, and magical underwear...we do not.

It is you who are making the claims and non of you god botherers can prove the existence of your god...it is not up to we non-believers to prove you wrong. Prove that Santa Claus doesn't exist...you cannot. But millions of children believe in him.

There is no magical Sky Boss who hears the murmurings of billions of people simultaneously and watching everyone doing everything at every moment. It's absurd. Your beliefs are absurd.

No more proseltyzing here please. I was once a Christian and have heard it all. I am an educated woman, I have read the Bible twice and studied it.

Don't you ever find it strange that you have to study your mythology book so much? No one can come to any consensus as to its meaning? You can put a thousand Christians from various denominations into an arena and you would fight the rest of your lives without ever coming to a mutual agreement about your own religion.

Because you make it up as you go, interpret it however you want, to suit your own purposes.

Stardust said...

Your Bible is full of nonsense...

An experiment Dr Ted...pick up your Bible and read

Leviticus 15:

The LORD said to Moses and Aaron, "Say to the people of Israel, When any man has a discharge from his body, his discharge is unclean. And this is the law of his uncleanness for a discharge: whether his body runs with his discharge, or his body is stopped from discharge, it is uncleanness in him. Every bed on which he who has the discharge lies shall be unclean; and everything on which he sits shall be unclean. And any one who touches his bed shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whoever sits on anything on which he who has the discharge has sat shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And whoever touches the body of him who has the discharge shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And if he who has the discharge spits on one who is clean, then he shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening. And any saddle on which he who has the discharge rides shall be unclean. And whoever touches anything that was under him shall be unclean until the evening; and he who carries such a thing shall wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the evening.

Why doesn't God in Leviticus 15 say:

"There are 47 different types of abnormal discharges that I have inflicted on the human body when I created it. They are, in order of frequency of occurrence: 1) Discharge from an infected skin lesion, normally caused by some sort of cut or puncture wound. What is happening here is a bacterial infection. First off, whenever you get a cut or puncture wound, you should wash it carefully with an antiseptic solution to kill the bacteria, and then cover the wound with a sterile dressing to keep bacteria out. Also, make sure that your tetanus vaccination is up to date. These steps will prevent 98.7% of all infections. But if the wound does become infected, what you should do is incise and drain the wound. This will be painful, but it is important because if you allow the pus to build up..."

God should know all of this stuff -- according to Christians he is all-knowing. When reading Leviticus 15, any normal human being asks questions like these:

* Why didn't God transcribe a useful medical guide into the Bible for these primitive people, rather than transcribing rituals that accomplish nothing?
* Why doesn't God explain how to manufacture antiseptic solutions, sterile dressings, tetanus vaccines and antibiotic creams?
* Even better, why not explain how to build a Star Trek Tricorder to instantly heal the wound?
* Even better, why didn't God design the human immune system to prevent all infections in the first place and eliminate the discharges completely? Why would God intentionally inflict human beings with all of these different types of abnormal discharges?

Extending on these ideas, why doesn't God use the Bible to explain metallurgy, chemistry, biology, physics, manufacturing, mathematics, medicine, engineering, etc. to these primitive people so they can dramatically accelerate their development?

Why, in other words, is the Bible so useless? Why does the author of the Bible, who is supposed to be God, who is supposed to be all-knowing, know so little? Why is the knowledge of the author limited to the knowledge of the primitive men who wrote the book? If you think about what you are reading in the Bible in the context of an all-knowing God who supposedly wrote it, none of it makes any sense. But if you think about the Bible as being a book written by primitive men like you would find in the remote regions of Afghanistan today, it makes complete sense.

If you think about what you are reading in the Bible in the context of an all-knowing God who supposedly wrote it, none of it makes any sense. But if you think about the Bible as being a book written by primitive men like you would find in the remote regions of Afghanistan today, it makes complete sense. This tells you everything you need to know. The Bible was written by primitive men, not by any god.

Tommy said...

I recall the Bible specifically mentioning a time when the world was covered by the Flood, and there was no ice caps then. If this is a move towards more Biblical times, then we should welcome it.

So, you're in favor of the bulk of the world's population being killed off like in old man Noah's day? And I bet you're against abortion too, Ted. Talk about cognitive dissonance.

Therefore, the Bible is completely true and accurate, and an excellent historical document.

That's quite a leap there, Ted. But first, let's start where both Christians and us atheists can and should agree. The gospels are set in a real time and place. They refer to people such as Tiberius, Pontius Pilate, and Herod, for instance, whose existence is documented outside of the gospels. Fine.

Now to the parting of the ways. One of the first works of history is Herodotus. Some of the things he wrote can be verified, some of the things are not, and others are just plain wrong. As a Greek visiting foreign lands, he was at the mercy of what others had to tell him, so he really was not in a position to verify what he was told.

As for Julius Caesar's Gallic Wars, I must confess to not having read it. However, we do not need to rely only on that to confirm he really existed. He is mentioned by contemporaries who knew him, there are busts of his likeness that were made during his lifetime, including one that was recently found in a river in France. One can find plenty of archeological evidence that puts a Roman presence in Gaul (modern day France) approximate to the time period in which he lived. I could go on and on, but you get the point.

Funny you should mention the Iliad. While it is believed, based on archeological discoveries that there was a real Troy, it in no way means that the events described in the Iliad actually happened. No one today believes that Zeus or Poseidon intervened in the battles.

Now with respect to the Gospels, there are two possibilities, (1) not only do they more or less accurately depict the time period of the events they describe, but that the events they describe are also completely true, or (2) they accurately depict time and place but not the events described therein. In other words, they are stories set in a real place and time to lend credibility to them.

To give you a few examples of what I mean. The magi story in the beginning of Matthew refers to Herod speaking privately with the magi. If one accepts that Matthew was written in the latter half of the first century, then where did the author of Matthew get his information from?

Then there's the story of Jesus being in the desert 40 days and the devil trying to tempt him. This takes place before he calls on his first disciples, so how can we really be sure what happened in the desert those 40 days. Yes, it is possible Jesus and his apostles were sitting under the stars one night and he told them "I once spent 40 days in the desert being tempted by the devil, and it sort of went like this..." How do we know Jesus didn't just make up the story?

So in summary, you have not proven your case.

ijak said...

I do not understand why people make such a big deal out of this story. ... Does no one remember the Skate in 1959?

Skate (SSN-578), surfaced at the North Pole, 17 March 1959.

Here is a picture.

http://www.navsource.org/archives/08/0857806.jpg

There was not much ice there in 1959.

Stardust said...

ijak, Your link doesn't work.

As for the ice melting, I am intrigued and starting to explore why this happens and how often. Just because it has happened for the first time in "human history" doesn't mean it hasn't happened before.

The part that we should be concerned about is the fight that will ensue over the oil that is beneath those waters.

CyberKitten said...

stardust said: The part that we should be concerned about is the fight that will ensue over the oil that is beneath those waters.

Oh, I think that the part we should be concerned about is that the ice caps are melting. Fighting over the oil it uncovers will be a minor inconvenience compared to the effects of Global Warming.

Each time I see news items like this I can only shake my head and be confirmed in my growing belief that the human species are just too stupid to live.

Stardust said...

cyberkitten, how do we mere humans control natural changes in our environment? We don't know what has happened with global warming before people were here...changes the Earth has gone through.

As George Carlin stated, the world will survive, it's us who won't.

CyberKitten said...

stardust said: how do we mere humans control natural changes in our environment?

We can't *control* the climate ATM but we do affect it. All the CO2 we've been producing since the Industrial Revolution has finally begun to have a real effect on the worlds climate. The next 100 years are going to be tough on everyone, no matter what we do right now. But only action in the here and now will lessen the impact on future generations - if we're smart enough to realise that.

stardust said: We don't know what has happened with global warming before people were here...changes the Earth has gone through.

We know a lot about the Earths climate before we evolved and we're learning more all the time. Climate did indeed change before we emerged but the changes that are happening ATM are pretty much unprecedented. Whatever is happening we are definitely implicated - and if we are largely the cause of this change then that means its in our power to do something about it.

stardust said: As George Carlin stated, the world will survive, it's us who won't.

Oh, definitely. The Earth doesn't care about us at all. If we push things too far we'll go extinct and the surviving species will (if they could) breath a huge sigh of relief.

Stardust said...

Cyberkitten, Call me a pessimist, but it's going to be nearly impossible to reverse things with the CO2 emissions with all the cars being sold in China now and no environmental controls. I read somewhere that cars now outnumber bicycles there? Don't know if that is true, but if not, it will be true soon enough.

CyberKitten said...

stardust said: Call me a pessimist, but it's going to be nearly impossible to reverse things with the CO2 emissions with all the cars being sold in China now and no environmental controls.

I don't think that it's China's fault. It's *all* our fault - though the massive Chinese growth isn't helping any.

I think that we have the ingenuity to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. It's just a case of having the will and the money to do so. Just think how much research would be possible with a fraction of the money being wasted on the so-called War on Terror.

It wouldn't surprise me at all if there was a major industry based on CO2 removal in the next few decades - but the longer we leave it the harder it will be to reverse the effects.

Stardust said...

I think other nations are going to have to accept their share of the environmental responsibility. It's an international problem, and we all need to come to some sort of guidelines globally.

When given the opportunity, other countries want to live like us, and emulate us almost to a t. Many countries who are just now starting to thrive in a growing capitalistic society have a lot of catching up to do as far as emission controls, etc that we have in place here in the US.

One part about Emission controls that I am peeved about...a car goes in for emissions test...then it fails. The owner takes it to a car repair place and spends the required $400 to fix it. If it still isn't up to standards, it gets a waiver even though it still cannot pass a test. Get those cars off the road. I know it's bad for those who cannot afford a new car, but why bother with emissions tests then, make people spend money they don't have for a test that is meaningless?

Greg said...

Its sort of funny. One part of me still hopes humanity will wake up and start trying to save nature for its beauty and for of course the oxygen we need. But another part of me feels that humanity will never learn and we will be our own undoing.

Strike that, 1/4 part of me feels hopes humanity will wake up. The rest of me (3/4 of course) feels we are a losing cause.
Does that make me a pessimist?

Tommy said...

Strike that, 1/4 part of me feels hopes humanity will wake up. The rest of me (3/4 of course) feels we are a losing cause.
Does that make me a pessimist?


One quarter of you hopes "humanity will wake up"? You're definitely an optimist then, Greg!

Personally, I think the human race will muddle along like it always has.