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2012-08-30  |  Paul Beckwith

INTRODUCTORY CLIMATE BLOG

By John Bennett and Paul Beckwith

I'm sharing my space this week with climatologist Paul Beckwith because an enormous cyclone blew over the North Pole all this month - an event that has kept scientists around the world up at night.

It’s very rare for there to be such a storm in the summer. In the past a storm like this would arise in winter and blow snow around on top of a thick ice cover. This summer, over thinner ice, the wind creates large waves which, combined with warm temperatures of air and water, are causing havoc with a keystone of the global climate.

Arctic ice physically reflects most of the incoming solar radiation harmlessly back into space, keeping the surface temperatures cold. When water replaces the melting ice it absorbs much, much more sunlight and thus increasingly heats up the ocean and atmosphere. This extra heat melts even more ice in a vicious heat amplifying feedback cycle....

2012-08-30  |  John Bennett

By John Bennett and Paul Beckwith

I'm sharing my space this week with climatologist Paul Beckwith because an enormous cyclone blew over the North Pole all this month - an event that has kept scientists around the world up at night.

It’s very rare for there to be such a storm in the summer. In the past a storm like this would arise in winter and blow snow around on top of a thick ice cover. This summer, over thinner ice, the wind creates large waves which, combined with warm temperatures of air and water, are causing havoc with a keystone of the global climate.

Arctic ice physically reflects most of the incoming solar radiation harmlessly back into space, keeping the surface temperatures cold. When water replaces the melting ice it absorbs much, much more sunlight and thus increasingly heats up the ocean and atmosphere. This extra heat melts even more ice in a vicious heat amplifying feedback cycle.

No computer models predicted...

2012-08-28  |  Webmaster
2012-08-19  |  John Bennett

The federal government recently surprised many when Health Canada announced a $1.8 Million study on health impacts of living near wind turbines. Electricity generation and health are both largely provincial responsibilities - so this is major deviation by a government that has strictly avoided straying into areas of provincial jurisdiction.

Could the study have been prompted by the Conservative’s wish to capitalize on the unpopularity of turbines in some rural Ontario ridings, in the process helping the province’s official opposition, Tim Hudak’s Conservatives? A two-for-one. Scarce health resources being misused for clearly partisan reasons; it’s all about politics (you can read more on this in a recent blog...

2012-07-23  |  John Bennett

A pan-Canadian Energy Plan is on the agenda of the Council of the Federation meeting this week in Halifax (July 25-27). It was going to be way-down on the priority list – that is, of course, before B.C. Premier Christy Clark announced her government’s new position on the Northern Gateway Pipeline (NGP) and news of the $15 Billion bid by the Chinese government to buy Nexen – a Canadian energy giant.

The idea of any kind of ‘national energy plan’ discussion happening would have been unthinkable only months ago, but something’s happened - and I’m not talking about deadly and destructive weather....

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