Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Global Cooling; An Inconvenient Truth. Sea Ice Surface Area Increases in Artic.

Good old serious stats freak Digital Diatribes, have produced a nice graph ( worth watching as it automatically updates day by day )showing the annual variation in the surface area of the Artic Ocean covered with ice. What is revealed is that in line with recent global cooling as seen with the particularily cold winter of 2007/2008, the Artic ice coverage is making a fine come back. At the beginning of August 2007 the total ice covered area was about 6x10^6 km^2, at the beginning of August this year the figure was 7x10^6 km^2. This represents an increase of 17%.

If as some now suspect, sun spot activity ( rather down for a while ) is more important than carbon dioxide in controlling the earth's temperature, then its continuing absence presages more cold, more ice. A bit of an Inconvenient Truth not currently being reported in the Earth-Gonna-Burn-An-Humans-Are-Solely-To-Blame media. Ah well, lets see.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Homage to Dieneces the Spartan.

When Leonidas's Spartans and their allies were marching north to meet Xerxes's invading hordes at Thermopylae they ran into a lot of refugees fleeing south. One of these, trying to convey how impossibly high the odds against the Greeks were stacked , told Dieneces that the Persian archers were so numerous that when they "loosened off their arrows the sun was blotted out. " Great" answered Dieneces " we'll fight in the shade." And so they did, like lions, and although they were betrayed and cut down to the last man they set an example that led later to the great Greek victories at Salamis and Plataea. The Persians were trashed and never returned. Western civilisation was saved.

We all owe the Greeks a very long list of good things. To mention a few; the Olympics, their arts, their science, their philosophy and their bravery. Let's not forget it.