Global Warming - 2 German cargo ships pass through 'Arctic Passage'

Discussion in 'Environmental Discussion' started by Rybold, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    He said the shipping company was planning more voyages through the area in coming months. Traditionally, shippers traveling from Asia to Europe have to go through the Gulf of Aden and through the Suez Canal into the Mediterranean Sea and, pending their destination, into the Atlantic Ocean.
    A journey from South Korean to the Netherlands, for example, is about 11,000 nautical miles (12,658 miles). By going northward and using the Northeast Passage, approximately 3,000 nautical miles (3,452 miles) and 10 days can be shaved off. That means lower fuel costs
    Researchers said the ability to navigate the route showed climate change.

    "We are seeing an expression of climate change here," said Mark Serreze, director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colo. "The Arctic is warming; we're losing the sea ice cover. The more frequent opening of that Northeast Passage is part of the process we're seeing."

    2 German cargo ships pass through 'Arctic Passage' - Yahoo! News

    [​IMG]

    I'm assuming the ice is not completely melted; the ships are pushing through the already broken ice, and also warming the water with the heat from their water-cooled engines. This is only a guess right now, but it sounds logical that they are having to push through chunks of ice in some areas. The heat from only two ships can be considered insignificant compared to the size of the ocean, but if this becomes a regular passageway for thousands of ships, all traveling over roughly the same path, the heat from the water-cooled engines could become significant.
     
  2. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    I knew this was coming...but wow...wow.
     
  3. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    See, it isn't all bad. Sure, we may have set the wheels in motion for all human life to be wiped from the planet, but think of all the money we can save on shipping in the meantime. :madgrin:
     
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  4. Rybold

    Rybold globally warmed member

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    ...so that the executives and major stock holders of the shipping companies can buy more personal vehicles that get terrible mileage, and also continue to fly on their private leer jets that have an environmental impact of ... BUT WAIT !!! let's consider something... if the cargo ships travel 3500 fewer miles each, per trip, how much diesel fuel is being saved each year (positive environmental impact). Are they actually breaking the ice, or are they just traveling through ice that has already melted? If we assume the ice is already melted, then on a entire-planet scale, this is positive. However, at the same time, if the heat from the ships contributes to complete melting of the polar ice caps... based on geological history, this could trigger a shift in Earth's behavior; potentially triggering another mass extinction. (note: virtually all - not all, but almost all - major shifts in Earth's climate in the geologic time record involved an altering of oceanic currents; inducing either an increase or decrease in polar ice quantities. All major ice ages were initiated by a shift in the oceanic currents; inhibiting the mixing of equatorial and polar waters; allowing the polar waters to become very cold; leading to an increase in polar ice that created mile-thick ice sheets covering Canada and the northern half of the United States. The reverse; the melting of the ice caps has an effect of...)
     
  5. hobbit

    hobbit Senior Member

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    See, that mass extinction would fix everything.
    .
    _H*
     
  6. Jimmie84

    Jimmie84 New Member

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    OH NOES!!!! WE'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!!!

    Happens all the time during the summer solstice, Wait a few more months at will be thick with Ice.
     
  7. efusco

    efusco Moderator Emeritus
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    It doesn't "happen all the time" While 2 years ago the first ice breaker made it through that particular passage this is the first time I've heard of any commercial freighter being able to make it through.

    Not being alarmist, but you're a fool if you don't consider this significant and worthy of further study and evaluation. I don't think anyone is sure what it means or what the future holds. And of course it'll freeze again...that's not the point...the point is that it's never melted to this degree before allowing a navigable passage.
     
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  8. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    Yep, we are all going to die. The issue is whether our offspring (and their offspring, and so on) are going to live. You and I won't be around to see it, but if you care about humanity, it might concern you to see rapid and substantial changes in our environment.
     
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  9. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    well. the problem we have is a ½º C increase down here equates to a 7º C change up there. and it will snowball from there.

    estimated methane gas levels currently trapped in the not so frozen tundra across Canada and Russia is more than 150 times THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF GREENHOUSE GAS RELEASED BY MAN SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION.

    gas release has been tracked and is showing a 30-50% increase in volume year to year. we may have already reached our tipping point

    now, if we can only figure out a way of trapping and collecting the methane, that would really brighten up T. Boone Picken's day!!
     
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  10. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Well, believe it or not, there is extensive research activity in the Canadian Arctic to recover natural gas hydrates, or methane clathrate. The government of Japan is investing heavily in Canadian research along those lines

    Gas Hydrates - Natural gas hydrate studies in Canada

    The methane clathrate is an interesting and unique natural occurrence.

    NASA GISS: Research Features: Methane: A Scientific Journey from Obscurity to Climate Super-Stardom

    It is thought that if the polar regions, and deep ocean areas, were to suddenly warm up, there could be a literally explosive release of methane from the clathrates. Assuming nothing horrible happens, the deposits will be a very long-term but expensive source of natural gas
     
  11. DaveinOlyWA

    DaveinOlyWA 3rd Time was Solariffic!!

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    and i am not saying the sky will be upon us tomorrow. if it does it does. too late to stop that. but we can do things now that might help...

    i drive an EV because it reduces carbon...now how much...well we all know, not much. the 10,000 miles i have driven have probably save a few tons from being added. but every little bit helps and that is what i preach and the sooner the better.

    went to a wedding a few weeks ago. garden affair and they had this old car sitting out back in the very early stages of restoration. here is my Son already a proponent of bio fuels.

    ya, like i said, never to early or too late to get em started in the right direction
     

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  12. hill

    hill High Fiber Member

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    I understand there area few entrepreneurs that have already purchased property in hopes of developing it, along what may soon become shipping routes. Gawd ... not more McDonalds & Arco stations.
     
  13. Jimmie84

    Jimmie84 New Member

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    There is a much higher chance of an Asteroid, Coronal Mass Ejection, Or maybe a super Volcano that could wipe out human life as we know it.
     
  14. dogfriend

    dogfriend Human - Animal Hybrid

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    How much higher?

    We have no control over any of those 3, but we can slow down the buildup of CO2 in the atmosphere if we choose to do so.
     
  15. oxnardprof

    oxnardprof Member

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    I don't know what evidence you use to say that. Climate change is real, and it will certainly affect human life adversely. The more we delay, the greater the difficulty in reducing adverse affects.
     
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  16. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    The possibility of a nasty solar or extra solar event could be in 5 mins, 5 years, 500,000 years, etc. The possibility of greenhouse gas effects from non-CFC gasses - the gasses we went to so we could save the ozone layer - are very real and immediate

    As far as the methane clathrates I find them to be fascinating complex compounds, an example of how nature proves it is the ultimate engineer

    The impact of cooling/warming trends, should not be discounted. Neither should the impact of growing population; that is, a growing population that wants access to the same standard of living that we appear to take for granted in the West

    I firmly believe in better efficiency, as everyone benefits in the long run. I also believe in a level playing field, but that is a stickier topic

    How arrogant are we to tell other nations, such as India and China, what to do? It's natural for people in those nations to want/desire the same standard of living that we have.

    Nations like India and China will attempt to provide their citizens with a much increased standard of living. That comes at the expense of increased consumer consumption. Like it or not, if we add 2 billion more people onto a Western lifestyle, there WILL be dramatic change both locally and globally

    Actually, I was thinking more of floating Tim Horton's. The German ship captain ordering for his crew:

    "Ya, we want .... how you say? Tirty double-double's skinny, ten double-doubles regular, Casper he want de regular Timmies coffee with 2 of each, and a box of fifty Timbits. Oh, do you take Visa?"

    Unfortunately, there is geologic evidence of all the above, which came very close to wiping the slate clean

    The asteroid impact in the Yucatan Peninsula 65 million years ago is thought to have been responsible for wiping out the dinosaurs. Or perhaps not. This isn't an exact science, and nobody is 100% certain of anything

    We had a fairly "normal" sized CME back in 1859, usually named after the British astronomer who observed it: Richard Carrington. The "high tech" infrastructure of the day, telegraph, was knocked out. Sparks flew off the equipment, the wires glowed red hot. There were even anecdotal reports of rail lines glowing red hot, from the induced geomagnetic current

    Normal geomagnetic current can induce current into long pipelines. The Alaska pipeline has odd erosion issues as a result, so do long pipelines in Scandinavian countries and Siberia.

    A small CME event knocked out Hydro Quebec in 1989, and caused damage to other utilities

    Who cares? Anyone living on Earth!

    As my interest and work has been "hard" infrastructure for most of my career, it's disturbing to realize that nothing has been done to protect our infrastructure from a CME

    I realize movies like "Knowing" with Nicholas Cage tend to portray a CME as something that wipes out all life on earth, that probably isn't the likely scenario. Most likely, the magnetosphere protects biological life from a typical CME, but our electronics are fried.

    Without electricity, safe running water, a way to grow, harvest, and transport our food, we die from disease and starvation. Not a pretty scenario.

    The super volcano, yes there are geological markers for such events. Not only would a super volcano, like the one potentially brewing under Yosemite, cause a Nuclear Winter outcome, but the acid rain resulting from such fallout would also wipe out our food crops.

    The heavy ash deposits would also render most of our technology useless. So the end result of starvation, disease, social breakdown, is still pretty bad

    Personally, I'm waiting for the Meteor Of Doom, but that is the kind of guy I am. I don't lose sleep over it

    As far as environmental effects of man, we will find solutions as we will have no choice. Unless we condemn billions to live a Stone Age existence - and who the hell are WE to do that?? - we have to accept that people living in China, India, Africa, etc, can and SHOULD have access to the same standard of living that we do

    That standard of living will come at a price. It's mutually beneficial for everybody to find a solution.
     
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  17. notagreen

    notagreen New Member

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    the reality is slightly different from the spin

    EU Referendum: A triumph for propaganda

    and a follow up about journalists regurgitating each others crap and how this was spun to give it an entirely fabricated British spin

    EU Referendum: The turd eaters
     
  18. hyo silver

    hyo silver Awaaaaay

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    No, having such evidence is quite fortunate. We know that mass extinctions have happened before and will happen again. It's our own stupidity and greed that's the problem. We alone have the intelligence and foresight to do something about many impending disasters, but sadly, we've been duped into thinking next quarter's financial results are more important.
     
  19. jayman

    jayman Senior Member

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    Well, consider the Canadian government established the Port Of Churchill, in northern Manitoba, primarily to ship grain to the former USSR

    Port of Churchill

    The Russians are interested in having direct sea shipments to their port in Murmansk, as there is tremendous advantage (Time, cost, etc) to avoiding shipping routes along the equator.

    During the cold war, shipping in the Arctic regions was routine. There were DEW radar stations every 50-100 miles apart, stretching from ALaska across the North West Territories.

    Each site had upwards of 2 million US gallons of DFA (Diesel Fuel Arctic) storage, and the only way to replenish the DFA was routine summer shipments by barge. There was a brief 2-4 month window each year during the summer, when it was possible to barge in the fuel and needed heavy equipment

    Now with extensive resource extraction in the Canadian Arctic (Diamonds, gold, oil, methane clathrates, etc) there will be more push on to develop more shipping routes. A concern has been raised in that Canadians have pretty much forgotten the existence of the Arctic. There are obvious concerns to soverignty and security

    Battle for the Arctic - Doc Zone | CBC-TV

    Like a lot of things, ignoring a situation does NOT make it go away

    I agree we shouldn't be fixated on the quarterly results. However, our ability to deal with most natural, solar, and extrasolar events is VERY limited. With the exception of man-made problems, which are hard enough to solve, we really do toot our own horn too much in how we imagine we could deal with a solar, or especially an extrasolar event

    Eg: until the Cold War, we didn't know about Gamma Ray Pulse events occurring outside our solar system. Detection satellites were designed to look for hidden, unannounced nuclear weapon tests.

    Funnily enough, the detectors started picking up frequent gamma ray events. They were all around us, far out into space. So, one more thing to worry about, getting fried by a gamma ray pulse from a nearby star

    NOVA Online | Death Star | A Bad Day in the Milky Way

    It would be best if we were quickly fried, with as little panic and social collapse as possible. However, if we were condemned to massive starvation and chaos, finding a quick way to end things would be preferable
     
  20. Jimmie84

    Jimmie84 New Member

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    Really? I'm having a very difficult time trying to understand what you're trying to say.....

    Do you mean hook up a cable to the space shuttle, Fly it around Mars and in hopes if using that cable to pull earth out of the line of a CME event? You can't stop disasters from happening. Hurricanes will always destroy coastlines, Tornadoes will always rip up the midwest, Lightning will cntinue to cause fires in the mountains from the rockies west, Snow storms will always happen.

    When you start thinking we control things out of our hands, Your logic of thinking is very dense.
     
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