Cheat-Seeking Missles

Saturday, November 17, 2007

The Gyers Are Gimbling In The Waves

Lewis Carroll might have thought all his Jabberwocky words were made up, but gyre has a meaning: a giant circular ocean current. Now scientists are finding possible answers to ocean level increases in the gyres in the waves:
Now, evidence gathered by Laury Miller of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and Bruce Douglas, of the Laboratory for Coastal Research in Florida, US, suggests that this [recent ocean level] change may be partly explained by the pressure-related movement of gigantic amounts of water. The researchers studied atmospheric pressure records for the late 19th and 20th centuries and used these records to try and work out how rising sea levels may be been affected by shifting ocean peaks, known as "gyres", in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. These ocean peaks are produced by water swirling in a circular direction around the ocean as a result of atmospheric pressure, wind and heating. The movement, combined with the turning of the Earth, causes water at the centre of the circle to rise upwards, forming a peak, or gyre. The North Atlantic and Pacific gyres are each about 1 metre taller at the centre than at the edge.

But atmospheric records suggest that the gyres in both oceans sank during the 1920s, releasing water held in the centre and allowing it to flow towards the coasts. This would explain the sudden change in the rate at which sea levels changed at this time, measured by coastal instruments. Since tidal gauges only measure sea-levels along the coasts, they could not have detected the drop in levels towards the oceans' centres.

If the researchers are correct, this means the overall sea levels were in fact rising more slowly at the time. This, in turn, implies that the rise of sea levels accelerated faster over the 20th century than previously thought. However as measurements have only recently become sufficiently accurate, it may take some time before the full picture will be known. (source)
Against this evidence against anthropogenic global warming, we have this today from Bankie:
"Only urgent, global action will do," said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, calling on the United States and China — the world's two biggest polluters — to do more to slow global climate change.
"World's biggest polluters" can alternatively be defined as "world's biggest producers of goods the world wants and needs," something Bankie fails to deal with in his calls for us to dial back our industry.

Before we blame ourselves for every single change in our ever-changing planet's weather and shut down the industries that bring us better lives, we'd best slow down and become more aware -- without anti-Industrial bias -- of what's going on.

hat-tip: Greenie Watch

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