Panama rentals
    
News | Economy | Culture | Opinion | Lifestyle | Nature
Noticias | Opiniones | Alternativa con Miguel Antonio Bernal
Archive | Unclassified Ads | Home
Volume 17, Number 8
  July 23, 2011
Learn Spanish Online with Habla Ya's Skype Spanish Lessons
Freedom of the press, especially for independent media, is not free. Pitch in to defray our expenses by donating to The Panama News via PayPal:


nature

Also in this section:
Drug-resistant bacteria kill at least 16 at Panama's main hospital complex
Space shuttle landing as seen from the International Space Station
The dangers of substandard tuberculosis tests
Pesticide Action Network: Scientific American fact checkers take a holiday
"Asexual" ants may be having sex after all
An honored eight-legged house guest
An eye gene colors butterfly wings red
Long-term forest changes on Barro Colorado Island after a severe 1980s drought
Six-million-year-old whale fossil found in Panama
Why are the poison frogs of Bocas del Toro so amazingly diverse?
Arctic ice melt at a record pace this year
Gardening with Donna Dawson: Strawberries




Melting ice, rising seas, unusual weather, long-term local climatic conditions difficult to predict
The Arctic is melting at a record pace
video by NASA, graphic by the National Snow and Ice Data Center


Climate and weather are distinct if related concepts. Weather is today, tomorrow, the next few days --- a small subset of the long-term data that go into the description of climate. It turns out that to understand either weather or climate in a local or regional context, one needs to take a global view and consider the many factors in play.

These are simple enough concepts, but there is a climate change denial movement that's largely funded by US-based oil and coal companies and that habitually sows confusion about these points. It's effective propaganda with many people whenever there is a big blizzard or an unusual cold wave affecting the target audience: that's alleged proof that global warming and resultant climate change are one big hoax, usually linked in these sorts of arguments to an evil and financially interested Al Gore and an amalgam of malicious liberals, environmentalists and communists who want to destroy The American Way of Life.

With North America in the grips of a record heat wave, the climate change denial people become very quiet, but the more astute advocates of public policies to address climate changes do not react like their adversaries when snow closes the schools. Foolish arguments that confuse weather and climate don't lead people to either understand or make reasonable choices based on that understanding, and although certain things appear to be predictable on a planetary scale the local and regional effects of climate change are not well predictable given the present state of scientific knowledge. Indeed, what we are seeing recently is that with a changing climate, weather is less predictable. The climate-driven migrations of species, including diseases and their vectors, add to the complexities of the puzzle.

One thing that is known is the general tendency of the polar regions to thaw, an issue of great concern to Panama because Arctic routes cut thousands of sea miles off of the distances between East Asian and European ports as compared to the Panama Canal. A navigable Arctic, even if only for a few months per year, creates major competition for our principal industry.

This year the Arctic melting started sooner and is progressing faster than ever recorded, and if the trend continues the northern polar ice cap will be smaller than ever before in modern times, surpassing the record set in 2007. You may notice, however, that while the extent of the ice in most places is less in the mid-July graphic than it was on the average between 1979 and 2000, in other places it’s a bit more.


For a higher-resolution version of this image, click here








Also in this section:
Drug-resistant bacteria kill at least 16 at Panama's main hospital complex
Space shuttle landing as seen from the International Space Station
The dangers of substandard tuberculosis tests
Pesticide Action Network: Scientific American fact checkers take a holiday
"Asexual" ants may be having sex after all
An honored eight-legged house guest
An eye gene colors butterfly wings red
Long-term forest changes on Barro Colorado Island after a severe 1980s drought
Six-million-year-old whale fossil found in Panama
Why are the poison frogs of Bocas del Toro so amazingly diverse?
Arctic ice melt at a record pace this year
Gardening with Donna Dawson: Strawberries


Find the boat of your dreams through Evermarine



© 2011 by Eric Jackson
All Rights Reserved - Todos Derechos Reservados
Individual contributors retain the rights to their articles or photos

email: editor@thepanamanews.com or

e_l_jackson_malo@yahoo.com or

thepanamanews@gmail.com

phone: (507) 6-632-6343

Mailing address:

Eric Jackson
att'n The Panama News
Apartado 0831-00927 Estafeta Paitilla
Panamá, República de Panamá

Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/thepanamanews