Friday, January 16, 2004

Global Warming Two recent articles from The New York Times about global warming.

In this article we learn that warming trends in Alaska are sharply curtailing the amount of time annually available to oil companies for exploration. State rules allow oil companies to drive large vehicles across the tundra of Alaska's North Slope (part of which is currently set aside for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) only when the ground is sufficiently frozen to prevent damage to the underlying vegetation. That used to mean an exploration season of 200 days. Recent warming trends have shrunk that period to 100 days. Consequently, there is currently pressure from the oil lobby to change the exploration rules accordingly. They are opposed by environmental groups who fear that loosening the rules will result in damage to the tundra. They cite similar damage done in Siberia when exploration rules there were loosened.

However you feel about oil exploration in Alaska, surely this is one more piece of evidence to shove down the throats of the persistent, and ever more vocal, crowd of global-warming deniers.

Also interesting is this article about the potentially devastating effects of global warming on species diversity.


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