The Greenhouse Policy Coalition, who protested loudly about the â€œrush
According to the US National Climate Data Centre, global temperature during the boreal (northern hemisphere) spring (Mar – May) 2007 was the third warmest on record. January to May was the warmest recorded, tying for first place with 1998. However, the UK Met Office doubt that 2007 will break 1998’s overall record:
David Parker, a climate variability scientist at the Met Office Hadley Centre said: â€œThese latest Met Office figures show that the first four months of 2007 are on track with our global forecast for a warmer-than-average year, but the cool La Nina event developing in the equatorial Pacific could prevent 2007 from being the warmest ever year
Helen Clark might think that curbing travel to cut carbon is â€œidiotic
Glaciers on the Antarctic Peninsula are thinning and speeding up, according to new research by the British Antarctic Survey. They tracked 300 glaciers using aerial and satellite imagery, and report that 87% are retreating. Ice flow has speeded up by 12% from 1993 to 2003. From the BAS press release:
These observations – that echo recent findings from coastal Greenland – indicate that the cause is melting of the lower glaciers, which flow directly into the sea. As they thin, the buoyancy of the ice can lift the glaciers off their rock beds, allowing them to slide faster.
BBC coverage here.
At the other end of the planet, Reuters has been blogging (here and here) the activities of Koni Steffen of the University of Colorado and Jay Zwally from NASA as they make their annual visit to the Swiss Camp research post high on the Greenland ice sheet. Asked if he thought the IPPC’s fourth report underestimated future sea level increase, Steffen did not pull any punches:
I think it definitely underestimated. We complained heavily before it was released and thatâ€™s why they added a few lines that if there is a dynamic response of ice sheets the upper uncertainty might be higher. That tells you that the current IPCC report only takes into account the current understanding. We can model melt but we cannot model the dynamics.
And that’s why I keep covering this stuff…
Meanwhile, two Belgian explorers have been walking across the Arctic from Siberia to Greenland, taking snow measurements to help calibrate a new ESA satellite. ESA were able to help them to avoid early sea ice break-up to the northwest of Greenland in the Lincoln Sea. Story here, with some very cool animated pix of sea ice. For a look at the ice today, go to the NSIDC’s sea ice snapshot. Considerable thinning north of Alaska, where last year there was an unusual polynya. Cryospshere Today shows the same thing.
Good analysis of NZ’s current climate politics by Colin James in today’s Herald:
Having dawdled for seven years, in part because of strong adverse public opinion, the Government is now racing to make up time. Officials who have been frustrated by conflicting signals from the Beehive – wanting bold, imaginative policies but subordinating them repeatedly to number-crunching with minor parties – are now under the whip.
Big shifts in international markets are also blowing businesses along:
That sea-change offshore – coupled with a big public opinion shift here – has moved business opinion in this country. As a senior National MP says, â€œPoliticians are struggling to stay up. Business is pushing past them.