Tuesday, February 19, 2008 11:55 AM
By: Phil Brennan
Are the world's ice caps melting because of climate change, or are the reports just a lot of scare mongering by the advocates of the global warming theory?
Scare mongering appears to be the case, according to reports from the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that reveal that almost all the allegedly "lost" ice has come back. A NOAA report shows that ice levels which had shrunk from 5 million square miles in January 2007 to just 1.5 million square miles in October, are almost back to their original levels.
Moreover, a Feb. 18 report in the London Daily Express showed that there is nearly a third more ice in Antarctica than usual, challenging the global warming crusaders and buttressing arguments of skeptics who deny that the world is undergoing global warming.
The Daily express recalls the photograph of polar bears clinging on to a melting iceberg which has been widely hailed as proof of the need to fight climate change and has been used by former Vice President Al Gore during his "Inconvenient Truth" lectures about mankind's alleged impact on the global climate.
Gore fails to mention that the photograph was taken in the month of August when melting is normal. Or that the polar bear population has soared in recent years.
As winter roars in across the Northern Hemisphere, Mother Nature seems to have joined the ranks of the skeptics.
As the Express notes, scientists are saying the northern Hemisphere has endured its coldest winter in decades, adding that snow cover across the area is at its greatest since 1966. The newspaper cites the one exception — Western Europe, which had, until the weekend when temperatures plunged to as low as -10 C in some places, been basking in unseasonably warm weather.
Around the world, vast areas have been buried under some of the heaviest snowfalls in decades. Central and southern China, the United States, and Canada were hit hard by snowstorms. In China, snowfall was so heavy that over 100,000 houses collapsed under the weight of snow.
Jerusalem, Damascus, Amman, and northern Saudi Arabia report the heaviest falls in years and below-zero temperatures. In Afghanistan, snow and freezing weather killed 120 people. Even Baghdad had a snowstorm, the first in the memory of most residents.
AFP news reports icy temperatures have just swept through south China, stranding 180,000 people and leading to widespread power cuts just as the area was recovering from the worst weather in 50 years, the government said Monday. The latest cold snap has taken a severe toll in usually temperate Yunnan province, which has been struck by heavy snowfalls since Thursday, a government official from the provincial disaster relief office told AFP.
Twelve people have died there, state Xinhua news agency reported, and four remained missing as of Saturday.
An ongoing record-long spell of cold weather in Vietnam's northern region, which started on Jan. 14, has killed nearly 60,000 cattle, mainly bull and buffalo calves, local press reported Monday. By Feb. 17, the spell had killed a total of 59,962 cattle in the region, including 7,349 in the Ha Giang province, 6,400 in Lao Cai, and 5,571 in Bac Can province, said Hoang Kim Giao, director of the Animal Husbandry Department under the Vietnamese Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, according to the Pioneer newspaper.
In Britain the temperatures plunged to -10 C in central England, according to the Express, which reports that experts say that February could end up as one of the coldest in Britain in the past 10 years with the freezing night-time conditions expected to stay around a frigid -8 C until at least the middle of the week. And the BBC reports that a bus company's efforts to cut global warming emissions have led to services being disrupted by cold weather.
Meanwhile Athens News reports that a raging snow storm that blanketed most of Greece over the weekend and continued into the early morning hours on Monday, plunging the country into sub-zero temperatures. The agency reported that public transport buses were at a standstill on Monday in the wider Athens area, while ships remained in ports, public services remained closed, and schools and courthouses in the more severely-stricken prefectures were also closed.
Scores of villages, mainly on the island of Crete, and in the prefectures of Evia, Argolida, Arcadia, Lakonia, Viotia, and the Cyclades islands were snowed in.
More than 100 villages were snowed-in on the island of Crete and temperatures in Athens dropped to -6 C before dawn, while the coldest temperatures were recorded in Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria and Florina, where they plunged to -12 C.
Temperatures in Athens dropped to -6 C before dawn, while the coldest temperatures were recorded in Kozani, Grevena, Kastoria and Florina, where they plunged to -12 C.
If global warming gets any worse we'll all freeze to death.
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