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Posted by on Sep 18, 2009 in Miscellaneous | 5 comments

Does global warming have an upside?

I guess if you’re James Bond it does:

Melting Ice Caps Expose Hundreds Of Secret Arctic Lairs

Cross-posted between Random Fate and The Moderate Voice.

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  • JeffersonDavis

    That was actually hilarious. Nice to see a bit of humor within the “global warming” debate.

    Ironically, the polar icecaps actually grew over the past 24 months. Globally, we’ve seen the coolest year in over 35 years. I guess that’s why the left has weened off of “global warming” and taken to calling it “climate change”.

    • joeaudio

      Yes, The Onion is funny.
      What’s not funny is this:

      “August 2009: One of the warmest on record”

      Look at the global temperature map and tell me why you think this is the “coolest year in over 35 years.”

      You must live in the Midwest USA. I do. One of the few places on Earth having abnormally cool weather this summer.

  • StockBoySF

    Poor Superman. I hope his home isn’t destroyed. Hey! Maybe it’s a Superhome! Vulnerable only to Kryptonite!

  • joeinhell

    Well if the polar ice caps melt, then maybe the united states’ military can recover the hydrogen bomb that was not found when a plane carrying 4 hydrogen bombs crashed on the ice in 1968. You can find the story if you go to google and enter an advanced search of “plane crash bomb hydrogen” then require searches be limited by the entire phrase “Thule Air Force base.”

  • DLS

    Well, if you’ve seen the bathymetry of the Arctic Ocean, no doubt the subs have been playing all kinds of games there, already, and there’s a ridge that might be an international boundary or demarcation someday of “spheres of influence” (something the Antarctic really doesn’t have).

    Is there an upside to possible global warming? (We don’t have proof yet that we _will_ warm, much less that man _will_ cause substantial warming, or how much, when.) Assuming the reasonable speculative “worst case” of an ice-free Arctic Ocean most if not all the year (expect coastal ice as happens now around Labrador), which does _not_ include any major loss of Greenland or Antarctic ice as well, some places would benefit, while others would suffer.

    An overall warming leaves the planet better off. The growing season would be lengthened and “deepened” (more degree-day “area under the curve”). Canada and Russia would stand to be lucky. (In fact, in previous decades there was talk of deliberately raising temperatures there to improve agriculture and human habitation.) Ignore any politicized degenerate CDC “increased disease hazards” hype. A worse problem now is not only hypothermia in winter (which is the season that characterizes most climates, practically and realistically, and which places the most climatic energy-related thermal demands, for space heating, that dwarfs cooling needs), but retarded development in the north because of poor agricultural and (cold) climatic conditions (including permafrost).

    The ice-free Arctic Ocean scenario has climatic consequences that were identified decades ago. (It is a good question if we really have learned that much, if any, of true value in addition since then, especially after the field of study became contaminated with leftist politics, “population growth” and “resource loss” silliness, later “nuclear winter” and then “global warming,” now verbally hedged “climate change.”) The Northern Hemisphere subtropical highs (anti-cyclones) are expected to shift northward with an ice-free Arctic Ocean about 100 miles in summer, 500 in winter. This in turn will cause the climate zones in the Northern Hemisphere to be shifted northward or to be modified in other ways (due to shape and nature of the terrain). On the West Coast, this means a shift northward of desert and chaparral and coast redwood (toward the Douglas-fir forest farther north). The dry periods should be longer and the wet periods, shorter. Superimposed on this is a La Nina kind of change to the Southern Oscillation. The end result is that California would be more arid and suffer from snowpack loss, but “Cascadia” stands to benefit, with great sunny summer weather (more than it has now) and with some adjustment for changes in winter weather to its benefit, maybe.

    The inter-tropical convergence zone (year-round “equatorial” rainfall) would shift northward as well, and this is anticipated to lead to aridity and “desertification” of the one part of the Southern Hemisphere affected under this scenario: the belt from about zero (the Equator) to latitude 20 south. This is in the tropics and where it is heavily populated, this could have a substantially adverse effect, but with every decade except possibly in sub-Saharan Africa, people are progressing, or advancing, and the effects become less drastic, not more as some would prefer to imagine or concoct for ideological or political reasons.

    Background climate information, including the “hypothetical continent” (shaped with more land in the northern than in the southern hemisphere, a continent of uniform low elevation, the ideal teaching aid), can be found here,

    and maps of the current climate regions (for you to speculate on the shift north in the Northern Hemisphere if the Arctic Ocean became ice-free) can be found here. The climatic classification used is by Trewartha, the definitive US version of the original Koppen (world standard) classification system.

    Heating and cooling (and average temperature) degree-day maps can be found here. (Note that these are useful in considering how much energy costs would be saved for space heating, much more than any increases in the need for cooling. They’re also useful if you’re curious about things such as how much of the US territory actually merits installation of things like block heaters on motor vehicles to speed up warm-up and reduce emissions and fuel use after engine start-up, etc. — 50-deg-F line, 5,000 heating degree-day line, is my own decision in this regard.)

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