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Friday, June 17, 2005

Slippery Problem

I did not realize that global warming affects melting of the glacial masses in this way:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution scientist Ruth Curry: ... Curry points out that uncertainties remain in assessing the possibility of circulation disruptions, including future rates of greenhouse warming and glacial melting. Most computer simulations of greenhouse warming show increased precipitation and river runoff at high latitudes that leads to a slowing of the Atlantic conveyor. Only one available model study, however, contains an interactive Greenland Ice Sheet. Pooling and release of glacial meltwater, collapse of an ice shelf followed by a surge in glacier movement, or lubrication of the glacier'’s base by increased melting are all mechanisms that could inject large amounts of freshwater into the critical upper layers of the Nordic Seas.
This curiously reminds me of the offhand remark by investigative comedian Harry Shearer who puzzled over the fact that no snow seemed to accumulate on Dupont's headquarters.

But more than anything, I found the accompanying photo a bit racy (or randy or risque or weird or whatever). In my scientific 'yute', I always held out a fantasy of working at Woods Hole. Something about the name evoked thoughts of working inside a bathysphere or in a tree fort at water's edge. Having aged and grown jaded about such things, I realize that politics and bureaucrats will shatter any such illusions (sigh) .... But, whatever Dr. Curry is trying to accomplish with her hand(i)work, please count me in.

Link via RealClimate


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