Peace of my Mind

Thoughts about life, love, politics,lyrics that hook me and finding dimes.

Friday, September 15, 2006

Unusual Ice Melting Man-made or Natural Cycle?

In 1990In 1999

These two images show Arctic sea ice extent from January 1, 1990 (left), and January 1, 1999, (Right) respectively. These images were created using data from the Defense Meteorological Satellite Program's (DMSP) Special Scanning Microwave Imager (SSM/I). Credit: NASA
For more info read the report from 2003
The Arctic Perennial Sea Ice Could Be Gone by End of the Century

September 14, 2006

Fast-melting Arctic ice alarms NASA scientists

appeared in the Cape Cod Times

Arctic sea ice in winter is melting far faster than before, two new NASA studies reported yesterday, a new and alarming trend that researchers say threatens the ocean's delicate ecosystem.

Scientists point to the sudden and rapid melting as a sure sign of man-made global warming.
''It has never occurred before in the past,'' said NASA senior research scientist Josefino Comiso in a phone interview. ''It is alarming. ... This winter ice provides the kind of evidence that it is indeed associated with the greenhouse effect.''

Scientists have long worried about melting Arctic sea ice in the summer, but they had not seen a big winter drop in sea ice, even though they expected it.

For more than 25 years Arctic sea ice has slowly diminished in winter by about 1.5 percent per decade. But in the past two years, the melting has occurred at rates 10 to 15 times faster. From 2004 to 2005, the amount of ice dropped 2.3 percent; and over the past year, it's declined by another 1.9 percent, according to Comiso.

A second NASA study by other researchers found the winter sea ice melt in one region of the eastern Arctic has shrunk about 40 percent in just the past two years.

This is partly because of local weather but also partly because of global warming, Comiso said.

The loss of winter ice is bad news for the ocean because this type of ice, when it melts in summer, provides a crucial breeding ground for plankton, Comiso said. Plankton are the bottom rung of the ocean's food chain.

''If the winter ice melt continues, the effect would be very profound especially for marine mammals,'' Comiso said.

The ice is melting even in subfreezing winter temperatures because the water is warmer and summer ice covers less area and is shorter-lived, Comiso said.
(Published: September 14, 2006)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Earthquake in the Gulf of Mexico - Wicked Weather Strikes Again.

I commented last year (check out the archives) about unusual and wacky weather on Cape Cod and other places around the world. Well, here is another unusual weather event baffling the experts. It may sound funny, but could someone have invented a weather/geological manipulation device? Strange things are happening.
Here are the details of the earthquake from the U.S. Geological Survey:

Gulf of Mexico Earthquake

By PHIL DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
47 minutes ago


TAMPA, Fla. - The largest earthquake to strike the eastern Gulf of Mexico in the last 30 years sent shock waves from Louisiana to southwest Florida Sunday, but did little more than rattle residents.

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake, centered about 260 miles southwest of Tampa, was too small to trigger a tsunami or dangerous waves, the U.S. Geological Survey said.

The USGS received more than 2,800 reports from people who felt the 10:56 a.m. quake. Scientists said it was the largest and most widely felt of more than a dozen earthquakes recorded in the region in three decades.

"This is a fairly unique event," said Don Blakeman, an analyst with the National Earthquake Information Center who said the quake was unusually strong. "I wouldn't expect any substantial damage, but it is possible there will be some minor damage."

The most prevalent vibration, which lasted for about 20 seconds, was felt on the gulf coast of Florida and in southern Georgia, Blakeman said. But residents in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana also called in reports.

"It rattled our trailer pretty good," said Dan Hawks, who lives near Ocala in the small central Florida community of Pedro. "The house started shaking. We could actually see it moving. We looked at each stupidly and said, 'What's the deal?'"

Florida counties along the Gulf of Mexico called the state emergency operations center with reports of tremors but no damage was reported, spokesman Mike Stone said. Gov. Jeb Bush was informed of the situation, Stone said.

The earthquake likely did not have any effect on oil operations in the Gulf of Mexico, according to Ray Connolly, a spokesman for the American Petroleum Institute, the trade association for the U.S. oil and natural gas industry. Earthquakes are factored into the design of the industry's equipment both onshore and offshore, Connolly said.

The epicenter is an unusual location for earthquake activity, but scientists recorded a magnitude 5.2 temblor in the same location on Feb. 10.

"This kind of occurrence is unusual in that spot, especially for an earthquake of this size," Blakeman said of Sunday's quake.

The temblor was unusual because it was not centered on a known fault line. The "midplate" earthquake, deep under the gulf, was probably the result of stresses generated by the interaction of tectonic plates in the earth's crust, the agency said.

Only one of Florida's rare earthquakes caused significant damage. In January 1879, St. Augustine residents reported heavy shaking that knocked plaster off the walls.

A more recent temblor, in November 1952, prompted a resident of Quincy to report the shaking "interfered with the writing of a parking ticket," the USGS said.