2009: Second Warmest Year on Record; End of Warmest Decade (click here)
2009 was tied for the second warmest year in the modern record, a new NASA analysis of global surface temperature shows. The analysis, conducted by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City, also shows that in the Southern Hemisphere, 2009 was the warmest year since modern records began in 1880...
I don't consider 27 degrees Fahrenheit very cold for Alaska in January. The article above is from Goddard Institute for Space Studies. One might note the Northern Hemisphere of Earth is where most of the population of humans live. Just coincidence, I suppose.
Local Time: 9:38 AM AKST (GMT -09)
Lat/Lon: 58.8° N 137.0° W
Elevation :: 33 ft.
Conditions :: Overcast
Windchill :: 23 F
Humidity :: 93%
Dew Point :: 25 F
Wind :: 4 mph from the NNW
Pressure :: 29.72 inches (Steady)
Visibility :: 10.0 miles
UV :: 0 out of 16
Clouds :: Few – 6600 ft
Mostly Cloudy – 8000 ft
Overcast – 9500 ft
Remember the VECO Scandal in Alaska? It helped Palin move into the Governor's Seat? Remember that? That was a State issue. Yes?
Well, it would seem as though contracts sold during the Bush/Cheney years of Alaskan oil, might be in sincere violation of all kinds of laws and standards. Tell me I should be surprised the federal Interior Department during those years was corrupt.
It would seem the federal government during the Bush/Cheney years forgot about any objections Native Americans might have to their culture and lands. No clue.
Shell faces legal fight over Arctic wells (click title to entry - thank you)guardian.co.uk, Sunday 24 January 2010 17.08 GMT
...The legal claim accuses the US's minerals management service, part of the federal interior department, of waving through permission to allow Shell to drill wells on the basis of an "abbreviated and internal review" of the environmental dangers of exploration.
The US portion of the Chukchi Sea, which separates north-western Alaska from north-eastern Siberia, is believed to hold 15bn barrels of recoverable oil and 76tn cubic feet of recoverable natural gas, according to the interior department.
It is also home to endangered bowhead whales, threatened polar bears and rich and varied fish stock. There are further concerns that more drilling in the region will increase warming in the Arctic, which is heating up twice as fast as the rest of the world.
"Shell's drilling brings with it the risk of large oil spills," said Pamela Miller, Alaska programme director for the Northern Alaska Environmental Center. "Chronic spills are a fact of life from oil and gas operations on Alaska's North Slope, where over 6,000 spills have occurred since 1996, and more than 400 of these took place at offshore oil fields. In the icy conditions of the Arctic Ocean, there is no way to effectively clean up spilled oil."
Shell also needs air emission, oil discharge and marine mammal harassment permits before it can extract oil. Last year, the Anglo-Dutch oil group was forced to scale down oil drilling in hte Beaufort Sea off Alaska amid concerns that oil spillages would cause devastation to marine life....How far does the corruption reach? Good question? Maybe Sarah could recommit to politics by running for mayor of North Slope Borough.
According to the mayor of North Slope Borough, there is no reason to attempt to do anything for Polar Bears because nothing will work anyway. Let me see if I understand that. He doesn't want to do anything that would preserve critical habitat because it isn't going to return sea ice to the Polar Bears, therefore, Polar Bears aren't important at all.
I suppose the critical habitat might give the Polar Bear a place where it could live exclusively with some barriers to the migration of Grizzly Bears though, so the Polar Bears don't completely lose their genetic basis for existence.
I mean why fight for critical habitat for any cornerstone species and predators? Right? Why have the Endangered Species Laws at all? Hm?
I mean there is no such thing as Human Induced Global Warming and Carbon Dioxide could never be a toxic gas, right?
Jan 23, 2010
The positions that caught her attention were:
1. The borough's decision not to join litigation against federal approval of Shell's revised Beaufort Sea exploration plan; and
2. Our opposition to the federal designation of 200,000 square miles of Arctic Ocean and North Slope coastal area as critical habitat for the polar bear.
I decided not to join the recent litigation because Shell had made changes to reduce the size and scope of its exploration plan as a result of our concerns. In addition, the federal government strengthened the permits by stipulating when drilling will have to shut down to accommodate the subsistence whaling season. Am I ready to say "full steam ahead" on offshore development? Absolutely not. I have major concerns about sediment discharge, air quality and other features of the proposed activity, and I am continuing to work with industry and the agencies to improve them. But there were good and consistent reasons for my position on Shell's permits.
My opposition to the polar bear critical habitat designation was a much easier decision. Fish and wildlife listed the polar bear as a threatened species and declared vast areas as critical habitat because global climate change is melting the sea ice, which provides an important platform for polar bear feeding at certain times of year. There is nothing that North Slope residents can do to mitigate the warming of the ocean and disappearance of the sea ice. Restricting our activity in a 200,000-square-mile area will not help the polar bear. It will only make life more difficult for people who live in and use this area. In a worst-case scenario, the designation could restrict subsistence activities, which would do real harm to people on the North Slope without making any difference to the health of the polar bear population. This makes no sense at all, and it understandably upsets people throughout the region....