Friday, September 4, 2009

Global warming the beach

I will be heading to Dewey Beach, DE this weekend to enjoy the warmest ocean temperatures ever recorded. Maybe in a few years I'll be lounging on the shores of northern Canada!

The National Climatic Data Center, the government agency that keeps weather records, says the average global ocean temperature in July was 62.6 degrees. It is the hottest since record-keeping began in 1880. The previous record was set in 1998.

Meteorologists blame a combination of a natural El Nino weather pattern on top of worsening manmade global warming. The warmer water could add to the melting of sea ice and possibly strengthen some hurricanes.

The Gulf of Mexico, where warm water fuels hurricanes, has temperatures dancing around 90 degrees. Most of the water in the Northern Hemisphere has been considerably warmer than normal. The Mediterranean is about three degrees warmer than normal. Higher temperatures rule in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

It's most noticeable near the Arctic, where water temperatures are as much as 10 degrees above average.

(Must be the urban heat island effect.) I guess even global warming has its benefits.

While there, I guess I should eat as many crabs as possible before ocean acidification destroys the ocean's ability to support them - increased ocean acidity, caused by CO2 dissolving and becoming carbonic acid, disrupts the process of "calcification," which sea animals like crabs use to build their shells. Better enjoy them while they last!

Check back next week for posts on ocean acidification, my analysis of the conservative grand strategy for defeating the President, the unbeatable global warming argument, and the ubiquitous health care debate. In the meantime, here's a good Paul Krugman article on the failure of economists, mostly because of their ludicrous belief that humans make decisions rationally.

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