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Kronologi over fredssagen og international politik 24. Juli 2012 / Time Line July 24, 2012

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23. Juli 2012, 25. Juli 2012

Satellites See Unprecedented Greenland Ice Sheet Melt

Extent of surface melt over Greenland's ice sheet on July 8, 2012 (left) and July 12, 2012 (right). Measurements from three satellites showed that on July 8, about 40 percent of the ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated and an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. In the image, the areas classified as "probable melt" (light pink) correspond to those sites where at least one satellite detected surface melting. The areas classified as "melt" (dark pink) correspond to sites where two or three satellites detected surface melting. Image credit: Jesse Allen, NASA Earth Observatory and Nicolo E. DiGirolamo, SSAI and Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory
PASADENA, Calif. - For several days this month, Greenland's surface ice cover melted over a larger area than at any time in more than 30 years of satellite observations. Nearly the entire ice cover of Greenland, from its thin, low-lying coastal edges to its 2-mile-thick (3.2-kilometer) center, experienced some degree of melting at its surface, according to measurements from three independent satellites analyzed by NASA and university scientists.
On average in the summer, about half of the surface of Greenland's ice sheet naturally melts. At high elevations, most of that melt water quickly refreezes in place. Near the coast, some of the melt water is retained by the ice sheet, and the rest is lost to the ocean. But this year the extent of ice melting at or near the surface jumped dramatically. According to satellite data, an estimated 97 percent of the ice sheet surface thawed at some point in mid-July.
Researchers have not yet determined whether this extensive melt event will affect the overall volume of ice loss this summer and contribute to sea level rise.
"The Greenland ice sheet is a vast area with a varied history of change. This event, combined with other natural but uncommon phenomena, such as the large calving event last week on Petermann Glacier, are part of a complex story," said Tom Wagner, NASA's cryosphere program manager in Washington. "Satellite observations are helping us understand how events like these may relate to one another as well as to the broader climate system."
Son Nghiem of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. was analyzing radar data from the Indian Space Research Organisation's (ISRO) Oceansat-2 satellite last week when he noticed that most of Greenland appeared to have undergone surface melting on July 12. Nghiem said, "This was so extraordinary that at first I questioned the result: was this real or was it due to a data error?"
Nghiem consulted with Dorothy Hall at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. Hall studies the surface temperature of Greenland using the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites. She confirmed that MODIS showed unusually high temperatures and that melt was extensive over the ice sheet surface.
Thomas Mote, a climatologist at the University of Georgia, Athens; and Marco Tedesco of City University of New York also confirmed the melt seen by Oceansat-2 and MODIS with passive-microwave satellite data from the Special Sensor Microwave Imager/Sounder on a U.S. Air Force meteorological satellite...

John Scales AveryA Threatened Global Catastrophe
By John Scales Avery
Possibly as early as this autumn, Israel may start a large-scale war in the Middle East and elsewhere by bombing Iran. The consequences are unforeseeable, but there are several ways in which the conflict could escalate into a nuclear war, particularly if the US supports the Israeli attack, and if Pakistan, Russia and China become involved.
Why is the threat especially worrying? Because of the massive buildup of US naval forces in the Persian Gulf. Because of a recent incident in which a US Navy ship fired on an unarmed Indian fishing boat, killing one person and injuring three others (small incidents have often escalated into large-scale wars). Because of Benjamin Netanyahu's rush to blame Iran for the Bulgarian bus explosion, before any evidence was available. Because of Netanyahu's government's stated intention to attack Iran, despite opposition from the people of Israel. Because of President Obama's declarations of unconditional support for Israel; and because Pakistan, a nuclear power, would probably enter the war on the side of Iran.
Most probably, a military attack on Iran by Israel would provoke an Iranian missile attack on Tel Aviv, and Iran might also close the Strait of Hormuz. The probable response of the US would be to bomb Iranian targets, such as shore installations on the Persian Gulf. That might well provoke Iran to sink one or more US ships by means of rockets, and if that should happen, the US public would demand massive retaliation against Iran.
Meanwhile, in Pakistan, the unpopularity of the US-Israel alliance, as well as the memory of numerous atrocities, might lead to the overthrow of Pakistan's less-than-stable government. Israel's response might be a preemptive nuclear attack on Pakistan's nuclear installations. One reads that Russia has already prepared for the conflict by massing troops and armaments in Armenia, and China may also be drawn into the conflict.
In this tense situation, there would be a danger that a much larger nuclear exchange could occur because of a syystems failure or because of an error of judgment by a military or political leader. A large-scale nuclear war would be a global environmental disaster, damaging agriculture throughout the world, spreading dangerous and long-lasting radioactive contamination, and resulting in hundreds of millions of deaths, also in neutral countries.
Can we not avoid this threatened disaster by refusing to follow the suicidal and perhaps genocidal whims of Netanyahu and his government? In the film “Dr. Strangelove”, global disaster was caused by the insanity of a person in a position of power. Perhaps today, that insane person is Benjamin Netanyahu.



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