— The Erimtan Angle —

Archive for May, 2012

Occupy Bilderberg

For a little over 50 years, an elite organization has met all around the world in total secrecy with nearly zero press coverage. On Thursday, 31 May, the annual Bilderberg Conference will take place inChantilly, Virginiawhere the world’s leaders are believed to make decisions that could possibly have an effect on the world. Abby Martin looks closer at Bilderberg’s global policies for a new world order as RT readies to cover this year’s event later this week (30 May 2012).

Greenland Melting: Glaciers turning into Water

LiveScience’s Stephanie Pappas reveals on Wednesday, 30 May, that a “set of 80-year-old photographs discovered in a basement archive reveals the remarkable sensitivity of Greenland’s glaciers to climate change, according to a new study that one scientist called “glaciological research with a splash of Indiana Jones.” The research, published online May 27 in the journal Nature Geoscience, reveals a pattern of stop-and-go melting along Greenland’s southeastern coast. Aerial photographs dating back to 1931 show a period of glacier retreat between 1933 and 1943, followed by a cool period of advancing ice until 1972. More recently, most of those gains have been lost as temperatures creep upward”.[1]  Since 1972 Greenland’s glaciers seem to have been in retreat . . . Pappas explains that the “long-lost photographs were taken during an expedition led by Danish explorer Knud Rasmussen and include aerial photos of land, sea and ice in southeastern Greenland. After expedition researchers created a map from the photographs, the glass-plate images were tucked away at the National Survey and Cadastre of Denmark and forgotten. National Survey researchers were cleaning out the basement of their archives when they ran across the glass plates. They contacted Anders A. Bjørk, a doctoral fellow at the Natural History Museum of Denmark. For Bjørk, the find was a gold mine. Satellites have kept an orbiting eye on Greenland’s ice since the 1970s, but measurements from before then are rare. That makes it tough to determine the ice’s sensitivity to temperatures. Bjørk, Box and their colleagues digitized the photographs and used software to compare them with images taken by the U.S. military in the World War II era and to modern satellite and aerial photographs. They found the 1933-43 ice retreat followed an unusually warm period in Arctic history. From about 1919 to 1932, temperatures in the region rose by about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) per decade — about a half-degree Celsius cooler than today’s Arctic temperature, but still a useful parallel. Between 1933 and 1943, glaciers retreated by about 33 to 164 feet (10-50 meters) per year, the photos revealed. Glaciers that terminated on land retreated just as fast as glaciers that fed the sea. In the current period of ice loss that began in the 2000s, ocean-abutting glaciers are melting much more quickly than land-bound glaciers. It could be that the 1930s ice loss pushed glaciers back to higher elevations and stripped them of surface area, making them less vulnerable to warming temperatures. Today, average ice loss in southeastern Greenland is 164 feet (50 meters) of retreat each year, higher than the 1930s rates. Several fast-melting glaciers, including one losing 2,910 feet (887 meters) of ice each year, are driving up the average”.[2]

The article, written by Anders A. Bjørk, Kurt H. Kjær, Niels J. Korsgaard, Shfaqat A. Khan, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Camilla S. Andresen, Jason E. Box, Nicolaj K. Larsen & Svend Funder, declares that unequivocally that ‘[w]idespread retreat of glaciers has been observed along the southeastern margin of Greenland. This retreat has been associated with increased air and ocean temperatures. However, most observations are from the satellite era; presatellite observations of Greenlandic glaciers are rare. Here we present a unique record that documents the frontal positions for 132 southeast Greenlandic glaciers from rediscovered historical aerial imagery beginning in the early 1930s. We combine the historical aerial images with both early and modern satellite imagery to extract frontal variations of marine- and land-terminating outlet glaciers, as well as local glaciers and ice caps, over the past 80 years. The images reveal a regional response to external forcing regardless of glacier type, terminal environment and size. Furthermore, the recent retreat was matched in its vigour during a period of warming in the 1930s with comparable increases in air temperature. We show that many land-terminating glaciers underwent a more rapid retreat in the 1930s than in the 2000s, whereas marine-terminating glaciers retreated more rapidly during the recent warming’.[3]  In other words, as a result of today’s climate fluctuations the sea temperatures have risen considerably, exacerbating the problem of melting ice.

A couple of months ago, ScienceDaily reported about another recent piece of research: “research led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego physical oceanographer Dean Roemmich shows a .33-degree Celsius (.59-degree Fahrenheit) average increase in the upper portions of the ocean to 700 meters (2,300 feet) depth. The increase was largest at the ocean surface, .59-degree Celsius (1.1-degree Fahrenheit), decreasing to .12-degree Celsius (.22-degree Fahrenheit) at 900 meters (2,950 feet) depth. The report is the first global comparison of temperature between the historic voyage of HMS Challenger (1872-1876) and modern data obtained by ocean-probing robots now continuously reporting temperatures via the global Argo program. Scientists have previously determined that nearly 90 percent of the excess heat added to Earth’s climate system since the 1960s has been stored in the oceans. The new study, published in the April 1 advance online edition of Nature Climate Change and coauthored by John Gould of the United Kingdom-based National Oceanography Centre and John Gilson of Scripps Oceanography, pushes the ocean warming trend back much earlier”.[4]  The American physical oceanographer Dean Roemmich declared that “The significance of the study is not only that we see a temperature difference that indicates warming on a global scale, but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years . . . This implies that the time scale for the warming of the ocean is not just the last 50 years but at least the last 100 years”.[5]  It would stand to reason that the ocean has been warming ever since humanity started contributing to the general increase in global temperature as a result of the increased emission of green house gases resulting from the Industrial Revolution.

‘Stephen Schneider (1945-2010) and Norman Rosenberg, two well-respected scientists, tend to think that the matter of greenhouse gases is rather self-explanatory: the “Earth’s climate changes. The climatic effects of having polluted the atmosphere with gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) may already be felt. There is no doubt that the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere has been rising. CO2 tends to trap heat near the Earth’s surface. This is known as the greenhouse effect, and its existence and basic mechanisms are not questioned by atmospheric scientists. What is questioned is the precise amount of warming and the regional pattern of climatic change that can be expected on the Earth from the anthropogenic increase in the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. It is the regional patterns of changes in temperature, precipitation, and soil moisture that will determine what impact the greenhouse effect will have on natural ecosystems, agriculture, and water supplies”’.[6]

[1] Stephanie Pappas, “Long-lost photos reveal true tale of Greenland’s glaciers” Mother Nature Network (30 May 2012). http://www.mnn.com/earth-matters/wilderness-resources/stories/long-lost-photos-reveal-true-tale-of-greenlands-glaciers.

[2] Stephanie Pappas, “Long-lost photos reveal true tale ofGreenland’s glaciers”.

[3] Anders A. Bjørk, Kurt H. Kjær, Niels J. Korsgaard, Shfaqat A. Khan, Kristian K. Kjeldsen, Camilla S. Andresen, Jason E. Box, Nicolaj K. Larsen & Svend Funder, “An aerial view of 80 years of climate-related glacier fluctuations in southeast Greenland” Nature Geoscience, 5 (27 May 2012). http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n6/full/ngeo1481.html.

[4] “New Comparison of Ocean Temperatures Reveals Rise Over the Last Century” ScienceDaily (01 April 2012). http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/04/120401135345.htm.

[5] “New Comparison of Ocean Temperatures Reveals Rise Over the Last Century”.

[6] “Climate Change is a Hoax???” A Pseudo-Ottoman Blog (02 January 2011). https://sitanbul.wordpress.com/2011/01/02/climate-change-is-a-hoax/.

Fukushima Fallout: Radioactive Fish

The AP’s science writer Alicia Chan indicates that ‘[a]cross the vast Pacific, the mighty bluefin tuna carried radioactive contamination that leaked from Japan’s crippled nuclear plant to the shores of the United States 6,000 miles away — the first time a huge migrating fish has been shown to carry radioactivity such a distance. “We were frankly kind of startled,” said Nicholas Fisher, one of the researchers reporting the findings online Monday [, 28 May] in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The levels of radioactive cesium were 10 times higher than the amount measured in tuna off the California coast in previous years. But even so, that’s still far below safe-to-eat limits set by the U.S. and Japanese governments. Previously, smaller fish and plankton were found with elevated levels of radiation in Japanese waters after a magnitude-9 earthquake in March 2011 triggered a tsunami that badly damaged the Fukushima Dai-ichi reactors. But scientists did not expect the nuclear fallout to linger in huge fish that sail the world because such fish can metabolize and shed radioactive substances. One of the largest and speediest fish, Pacific bluefin tuna can grow to 10 feet and weigh more than 1,000 pounds. They spawn off the Japan coast and swim east at breakneck speed to school in waters off California and the tip of Baja California, Mexico. Five months after the Fukushima disaster, Fisher of Stony Brook University in New York and a team decided to test Pacific bluefin that were caught off the coast of San Diego. To their surprise, tissue samples from all 15 tuna captured contained levels of two radioactive substances — ceisum-134 and cesium-137 — that were higher than in previous catches. To rule out the possibility that the radiation was carried by ocean currents or deposited in the sea through the atmosphere, the team also analyzed yellowfin tuna, found in the eastern Pacific, and bluefin that migrated to Southern California before the nuclear crisis. They found no trace of cesium-134 and only background levels of cesium-137 left over from nuclear weapons testing in the 1960s’.[1]

And those still in doubt about the dangers posed by the Fukushimadisaster, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution’s Ken Buesseler declares that the results “are unequivocal. Fukushimawas the source [of the radioactive contamination]”.[2]

The above-quoted article begins with the clear statement that the “Fukushima Dai-ichi release of radionuclides into ocean waters caused significant local and global concern regarding the spread of radioactive material”, and then adding, “We now report unequivocal evidence that Pacific bluefin tuna, Thunnus orientalis,  transported Fukushima-derived radionuclides across the entire North Pacific Ocean.[3]  The operative word in this context is clearly “unequivocal” . . .  Is this the beginning of a radioactive ocean inhabited by fish and other creatures spreading the good news of contamination wide and far across the world???

[1] Alicia Chan, “Radioactive bluefin tuna crossed the Pacific to US” AP (28 May 2012). http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jQLZGd4Qz6APSA3YNA2Wkyi3HGBQ?docId=8aef0b7418e546cb85f6436b3ff6b49e.

[2] Alicia Chan, “Radioactive bluefin tuna crossed the Pacific to US”.

[3] D. J. Madigan, Z. Baumann, and N.S. Fisher, “Pacific bluefin tuna transport  Fukushima radionuclides from Japan to California” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2012/05/22/1204859109.full.pdf+html?sid=d5c8c422-e873-4d05-8062-e3039a2b2617.

Assange on TV: The World Tomorrow, New Episode

The Occupy movement has united hundreds of thousands across the world in protest against economic and social injustice. In this episode, key Occupy activists talk global finance, politics, and direct action. The former Deutsche Bank building inLondonplays host to this week’s discussion, which sees Julian discuss the origins, targets, and future of the Occupy movement with five high profile activists. The roots of the movement lie in the growing outrage many felt in the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis. However, according to Alexa O’Brien from OccupyNew Yorkand US Day of Rage, they are also responding to a “Global Political Crisis, because our institutions no longer function.” Aaron Peters from Occupy London agrees that political failure is a “global phenomenon”, with power shifting to unaccountable non-democratic institutions. However, the last word goes to David Graeber from Occupy New York, who jokes “there’s nothing that terrifies the American government so much as the threat of democracy breaking out in America” (29 May 2012).

Bush Convicted of War Crimes at Tribunal

Francis Boyle: Judgement at Malaysian hearing may help push case at ICC; while President Obama appears to be in violation for not pursuing a Bush indictment (28 May 2012).

Social Media Propaganda: Syria

In my piece on the Arab Awakening in Egypt, published last year,[1] I hinted at the role played by the U.S. State Department in sensitizing the Arab youth to the manifold uses of new media and the revolutionary potential of social media.  Now, inSyria the whole scenario seems to have been put into action once more: ‘Social media is playing a vital role inSyria’s conflict, as both sides try to shape domestic and international opinion in their favour. Chilling videos of acts of brutality have the power to go viral and be broadcast on global TV networks – but sometimes, the pictures aren’t everything they appear to be. Oksana Boyko has more (25 May 2012).

[1] C. Erimtan, “”Behind the scenes of Egypt’s revolution” Hürriyet Daily News (27 February 2011). http://tiny.cc/fz7tf.

Pro-Assad Demonstration in Strasbourg, France

Numerous Syrian and French demonstrators inStrasbourg express their support for Syria and for President Bashar al-Assad. They gathered together, to voice their condemnations of the crimes committed by terrorists against the Syrian people and their rejection of foreign interference inSyria’s internal affairs (27 May 2012).