Thursday, December 13, 2007

If you aren't underwater, watch out for meteorites

And something about grabbing your ankles and kissing something...
WASHINGTON - An already relentless melting of the Arctic greatly accelerated this summer, a warning sign that some scientists worry could mean global warming has passed an ominous tipping point. One even speculated that summer sea ice would be gone in five years.

Greenland's ice sheet melted nearly 19 billion tons more than the previous high mark, and the volume of Arctic sea ice at summer's end was half what it was just four years earlier, according to new NASA satellite data obtained by The Associated Press.

"The Arctic is screaming," said Mark Serreze, senior scientist at the government's snow and ice data center in Boulder, Colo.

Just last year, two top scientists surprised their colleagues by projecting that the Arctic sea ice was melting so rapidly that it could disappear entirely by the summer of 2040.

This week, after reviewing his own new data, NASA climate scientist Jay Zwally said: "At this rate, the Arctic Ocean could be nearly ice-free at the end of summer by 2012, much faster than previous predictions."
And while you're treading water, enjoy the light show:
What could be the best meteor display of the year will reach its peak on the night of Dec.13-14.

Here is what astronomers David Levy and Stephen Edberg have written of the annual Geminid Meteor Shower: "If you have not seen a mighty Geminid fireball arcing gracefully across an expanse of sky, then you have not seen a meteor."

The Geminids get their name from the constellation of Gemini, the Twins, because the meteors appear to emanate from a spot in the sky near the bright star Castor in Gemini.

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Sorghum Crow of Sorghum Crow's General Store (from whom I hijacked the link) reminds us to think of the Wooly Mammoths ... and to use an umbrella!


Anonymous said...

i saw a falling star tonite. now i know why. you got it covered ellroon.

in case you missed it i mentioned woolly mammoths at eschaton too.

ellroon said...

I missed the comment, Charley, but the wooly mammoths thank you!

I hope you wished upon the star, btw.